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Soviet 

Proposals 




GERMANY 

and 


BERLIN 




November, 1958 
to 

January, 1959 


Soviet 
Booklet 
No. 46 


6 ° 

















lU ^ 1 


LIBRARY 
UNIVERSITY OF ALBERTA 





CONTENTS 

Page 

Soviet Government Proposes Text of Peace Treaty with Germany—Note to 

United States Government, January 10, 1959 ... . 3 

Draft Peace Treaty with Germany. 9 

Soviet Government’s Notes to Britain. United States, and France on the 

Question of Berlin, November 27, 1958 ... . 18 

N. S. Khrushchov’s Press Conference, November 27, 1958 . 30 

Soviet Government’s Note to the German Democratic Republic on the Question 

of Berlin, November 27, 1958 . 36 

Soviet Note to the Government of the Federal Republic of Germany on the 

Question of Berlin, November 27, 1958 . n . 41 

N. S. Khrushchov Replies to Questions of West German Correspondent, 

December 13, 1958 . 47 

Statement by Foreign Minister A. Gromyko in U.S.S.R. Supreme Soviet, 

December 25, 1958 .., . 53 



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in 2018 with funding from 
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SOVIET GOVERNMENT PROPOSES 
TEXT OF PEACE TREATY 
WITH GERMANY 

Note to United States Qovernment 

on January 10, 1959 


T HE Soviet government considers it 
necessary to draw the attention of 
the United States government to the com¬ 
pletely abnormal situation which has 
developed as a result of the delay in 
solving one of the most important inter¬ 
national postwar problems—the conclu¬ 
sion of a peace treaty with Germany. 
While peace treaties have long since been 
concluded with other states which took 
part in the Second World War on the 
side of Germany and those states are 
developing on an independent national 
basis, the German people still have no 
peace treaty, a fact which deprives them 
of the possibility of exercising their state 
sovereignty to the full and of becoming 
an equal member of the community of 
nations. Furthermore, foreign troops still 
remain on the territory of Germany and 
an occupation regime is still in force in 
some parts of Germany, as is the case, 
for instance, in West Berlin. 

As a result of procrastination in the 
peaceful settlement with Germany, many 
questions affecting the interests, not only 
of Germany, but also of the countries 
which took part in the war against Ger¬ 
many, remain unsolved year after year. 
The absence of a peace treaty with Ger¬ 
many seriously complicates the situation 


in Europe, gives rise to suspicion and 
mistrust in relations between states, and 
hampers the normalisation of these rela¬ 
tions. It should also be pointed out that 
owing to the absence of a peace treaty, 
German militarism in Western Germany 
is again rearing its head and growing 
stronger. This cannot fail to worry the 
Soviet people, and also other European 
peoples on whom militarist Germany has 
repeatedly inflicted serious calamities and 
sufferings. 

A peace treaty promoting the peaceful 
development of Germany would create 
the necessary conditions for making im¬ 
possible a recurrence of the tragic events 
of the past, when German militarists in¬ 
volved mankind in devastating wars 
entailing tremendous human and material 
losses. 

Loyal to its commitments with regard 
to Germany and taking into consideration 
the lawful interests of the German and 
other European peoples, the Soviet 
government has repeatedly approached 
the governments of the United States, 
the United Kingdom and France in the 
postwar years with proposals that a peace 
treaty with Germany be prepared and 
concluded. Unfortunately the Soviet pro¬ 
posals for a peaceful settlement with 


3 


Germany have not been received favour¬ 
ably by the western powers which, far 
from putting forward their own pro¬ 
posals, have not wanted to discuss this 
urgent problem seriously. For many 
years they have been insisting that 
priority be given to so-called free all- 
German elections and that the question 
of the reunification of Germany be 
tackled, not by the Germans, but by 
the four former occupation powers. This 
idea was the gist of the Notes of the 
western powers of September 30, 1958, 
to which an exhaustive answer was given 
in the Notes of the Soviet government on 
the question of Berlin, dated November 
27, 1958. 

If, instead of wishful thinking, we face 
the truth as it is, we shall have to admit 
that the restoration of the unity of Ger¬ 
many will inevitably have to pass through 
a number of stages of rapprochement 
between the German Democratic Repub¬ 
lic and the Federal Republic of 
Germany. Now we can only wish 
to see the beginning of this process, the 
success of which, however, depends on 
the efforts of both German states. To 
evade the preparation of a peace treaty 
with Germany is to strive for a situation 
in which the German people will have 
neither a peace treaty nor a united 
national state. This would mean preserv¬ 
ing the existing intolerable situation, 
creating a possibility for the Federal 
Republic of Germany to make efforts to 
impose on the German Democratic 
Republic an internal system after the 
former’s own pattern. But in that case 
the German Democratic Republic would 
also have the right to raise the question 
of changing the system and regime exist¬ 
ing in the Federal Republic of Germany. 
It is quite clear that this would not 
help to achieve the national unity of 
Germany but, on the contrary, would 
further widen the gap between the two 
German states. 

On the other hand, in the present 
conditions the conclusion of a peace 
treaty is precisely a measure which could, 
sooner than anything else, bring the 
German people closer to the solution of 
their basic national task—the reunifica¬ 
tion of the country. Defining in a peace 


treaty the military status of Germany, 
and also the external conditions, observ¬ 
ance of which would safeguard her 
internal development against any foreign 
interference, would open up before the 
German people clear prospects for the 
future of Germany and would, in many 
respects, make it easier for the Germans, 
who are living in two states with different 
social and economic systems, to search 
for ways and means of extending con¬ 
tacts and establishing confidence between 
them. A peace treaty would provide a 
good basis for bringing closer together 
the two German states, for overcoming 
the deep-going differences which still 
block the way to the reunification of the 
country in a single whole. 

It is only just to point out that since 
the government of the Federal Republic 
of Germany has taken a line directed 
towards remilitarisation and has closely 
bound up its policy with the plans of the 
N.A.T.O. military bloc, which are in 
glaring contradiction with the national 
interests of Germany, that government 
bears a considerable part of the respon¬ 
sibility for the situation obtaining in 
Germany, including the fact that Ger¬ 
many still has no peace treaty. If any 
fresh evidence is needed to prove that 
the government of the Federal Republic 
of Germany is pursuing precisely this 
line, that evidence is provided by the 
Note of the government of the Federal 
Republic sent on January 5, 1959, in reply 
to the Soviet government’s Note on the 
Berlin question of November 27, 1958. 
This Note shows that the government of 
the Federal Republic, instead of assisting 
ir. the settlement of the Berlin question in 
the interests of peace in Europe and in 
the interests of the German nation itself, 
is going out of its way to stir up passions 
and to bring the situation with regard to 
the Berlin question to white heat, in 
order to ensure the preservation of the 
occupation regime in West Berlin. 

There can be no justification for a 
situation in which the states that took 
part in the war against Hitler Germany 
have to wait and remain passive observers 
in such a serious and urgent matter as 
the preparation and conclusion of a peace 
treaty with Germany. These states, 


4 


which during the war succeeded jn estab¬ 
lishing close co-operation among them¬ 
selves, are now in a position to find a 
common language, in spite of the existing 
differences, so as to bring the peaceful 
settlement with Germany to a successful 
conclusion and ensure, at long last, a 
peaceful and secure life for the European 
peoples, including the Germans. The 
need to solve this task is all the more 
urgent since a movement in favour of the 
preparation and conclusion of a peace 
treaty at the earliest possible date is 
gathering momentum in both German 
states—the German Democratic Republic 
and the Federal Republic of Germany. 

Proceeding on the basis of the above 
considerations and being desirous of 
providing a practical basis for the peace¬ 
ful settlement with Germany, the Soviet 
government has drafted a peace treaty 
and is forwarding it herewith to the 
government of the United States of 
America for consideration. 

Any desire to divide the world into 
victors and vanquished is alien to the 
Soviet state, just as are feelings of re¬ 
venge towards its former enemies in the 
war. The Soviet draft of the Peace 
Treaty is based on the idea of Ger¬ 
many’s peaceful and democratic develop¬ 
ment. This draft provides for the 
restoration of the German people’s com¬ 
plete sovereignty over Germany, her 
territory and air space. No restrictions 
are imposed on the development of 
Germany’s peaceful economy, trade, 
shipping, or access to world markets. 
Germany is allowed the right to have 
her own national armed forces necessary 
for the country’s defence. All these 
provisions of the draft give the German 
people great opportunities for peaceful 
constructive work and ensure them an 
equal standing among the other nations 
of the world. 

Of course, the draft Treaty provides 
for certain military restrictions which, 
the Soviet government is convinced, are 
in keeping both with the national in¬ 
terests of the German people who have 
lived through the havoc of world wars, 
and with the general interests of peace. 
The military obligations imposed on 
Germany include, above all, a ban on 


the production of nuclear and rocket 
weapons and on the equipping of the 
German armed forces with those 
weapons—a prohibition which would be 
conducive to the strengthening of the 
security of Europe and would eliminate 
one of the main obstacles now standing 
between the two German states. 

Of great significance for safeguarding 
peace in Europe is the provision in the 
Peace Treaty precluding the possibility 
of Germany being involved in any mili¬ 
tary grouping directed against any of the 
states which were at war with Hitlerite 
Germany, the members of which do not 
include all the four principal Allied 
powers of the anti-Hitler coalition—the 
U.S.S.R., the United States, Britain and 
France. The inclusion of this provision 
in the Treaty would deliver mankind to 
a considerable extent from the danger 
of a new war, for no one will deny that 
this danger is much greater when there 
is a military alliance of one or a number 
of great powers with Germany—an 
alliance directed against another great 
power. 

Taking into consideration all that has 
been said above, the Soviet government 
proposes that a peace conference be 
called in Warsaw or Prague to discuss the 
draft Peace Treaty with Germany that 
is being put forward, and to work out 
and sign an agreed text of the Treaty. 
The conference should be attended, on 
the one hand, by the governments of 
the states that took part with their 
armed forces in the war against Ger¬ 
many and, on the other hand, by the 
governments of the German Democratic 
Republic and the Federal Republic of 
Germany, which would sign the Peace 
Treaty on behalf of Germany. If a 
German Confederation is set up before 
the Peace Treaty is concluded, the 
Treaty could be signed, in that case, by 
representatives of the German Con¬ 
federation and also the two German 
states. 

It goes without saying that the Soviet 
government recognises the right of the 
governments of the German Democratic 
Republic and the Federal Republic of 
Germany to reach agreement on any 
appropriate German representation dur- 


5 


mg the preparation and signing of the 
Peace Treaty. 

In putting forward the draft Peace 
Treaty for Germany, the Soviet govern¬ 
ment is proceeding on the basis of the 
fact that the positions of the parties 
concerned in the German question are 
now absolutely clear and that it is to¬ 
day necessary to abandon unnecessary 
polemics and to get down to working 
out practical decisions dictated by the 
situation existing in Germany and by 
the interests of strengthening peace in 
Europe. 

The Soviet government is convinced 
that the only persons who can remain 
unsympathetic to the proposal to con¬ 
clude a peace treaty are those who do 
not wish the German people well, who 
want Germany to remain divided and 
do not want to turn Europe into a 
continent of lasting peace and security, 
and those who want it to be, as hitherto, 
a seat of dangerous tension and cold 
war fraught with a serious menace to 
the cause of peace. 

The Soviet government believes that 
in addition to the conclusion of a peace 
treaty, practical steps can be taken, 
already at the present time, with regard 
to Berlin, as has already been proposed 
by the Soviet government, particularly 
in its Note to the United States govern¬ 
ment of November 27, 1958. 

Inasmuch as the United States govern¬ 
ment has put forward its views on the 
abovementioned proposals in its Note of 
December 31, 1958, the Soviet govern¬ 
ment considers it necessary to state the 
following in reply to this Note: 

The period when the Allied govern¬ 
ments demanded Germany’s compliance 
with the terms of unconditional sur¬ 
render has long since become a thing of 
the past, as has the time when the 
supreme power in Germany belonged to 
the commanders-in-chief of the occupa¬ 
tion troops of the four powers, and when 
the Control Council still discharged its 
functions, as well as the “Allied Kom- 
mandatura” for the joint administration 
of “Greater Berlin” which it headed. 
However, one gets the impression that the 
United States Note has been written as 
applicable to the first years of Germany’s 


occupation, without any regard for the 
great changes which have taken place in 
Germany during the postwar years. It 
is entirely permeated by the spirit of 
that time, by a desire to justify and con¬ 
firm the “ right of occupation,” although 
the United States government does recog¬ 
nise the abnormality of the situation in 
which, 13 years after the war, Berlin is 
still living under a system of occupation 
established in 1945. 

No one can give credence to argu¬ 
ments that the stay of American troops 
in Berlin is justified by the fact that they 
came there as a result of the Second 
World War. 

If we put aside the dead accumula¬ 
tions of the occupation period and assess 
the situation soberly, it will become clear 
that the desire of the United States, 
Britain and France to preserve their 
positions in Western Berlin has nothing 
in common with the consequences of the 
past war and the postwar agreements 
which determined Germany’s develop¬ 
ment as a peaceloving and democratic 
state. It stems from the new state of 
affairs arising from the flagrant violation 
of the aforesaid agreements by the 
western powers, their abandonment of 
good allied relations and the reversal of 
their policy in the direction of worsen¬ 
ing relations with the U.S.S.R. and whip¬ 
ping together military blocs. 

Only those who want to use West 
Berlin as an instrument for hostile 
activity against the Soviet Union, the 
German Democratic Republic and the 
countries which are their friends, as 
an instrument for further aggravating the 
existing contradictions and increasing 
international tension, can now come out 
in favour of perpetuating the present 
situation in Berlin. 

Continuing the existing situation in 
West Berlin means preserving the danger 
of the cold war turning into a third 
world war, with all the grave conse¬ 
quences for the peoples ensuing from 
this. In these conditions no one can 
expect the Soviet Union to prop up 
with its own hands the occupation 
regime in West Berlin. 

The occupation, which was under¬ 
standable and necessary directly after 


6 


the defeat of Hitler Germany, inasmuch 
as it led to the remoulding of German 
political life on peaceloving and demo¬ 
cratic lines, now has the purpose of 
covering up, above all, the turning of 
West Berlin into a N.A.T.O. stronghold 
in the heart of the German Democratic 
Republic. 

The United States Note recalls the 
1944 and 1945 Allied agreements on 
Berlin, and what is more, it interprets 
these agreements as though they do not 
depend on the Potsdam agreements and 
still give the western powers a right to 
keep their troops in West Berlin. We 
cannot agree with this interpretation, 
because it is at variance with the univer¬ 
sally known facts and the commitments 
assumed by the powers with regard to 
Germany. 

Berlin’s quadripartite status did not 
originate and exist independently of all 
the other Allied agreements on Germany; 
it was wholly intended to fulfil the basic 
purposes of the occupation of Germany 
in the initial postwar period—purposes 
laid down in the Potsdam agreements. 
Having embarked upon the road of re¬ 
arming Western Germany and drawing 
her into their military grouping, the 
United States, the United Kingdom and 
France have flagrantly violated the Pots¬ 
dam Agreement and have thereby for¬ 
feited all legal rights to the perpetuation 
of Berlin’s present status, as well as to 
the occupation of Germany in general. 

The Soviet Union has always observed, 
and continues to observe its inter¬ 
national commitments, including those 
on Germany. Moreover no one can 
reproach the Soviet Union for not hav¬ 
ing served warning when the western 
powers scrapped one Allied agreement 
after another, driving Western Germany 
on to the road of militarism and 
revanchism. 

If the three western powers had 
honoured the Potsdam Agreement as the 
Soviet Union did, and had abided by 
their undertakings under this agreement, 
we can say with confidence that there 
would have been no Berlin question 
now, and no German problem in general, 
because those questions would have 
been solved to the benefit of the German 


people and in the interests of European 
peace. 

The quadripartite agreements on Ber¬ 
lin, as well as on Germany as a whole, 
are of a provisional nature, valid only 
for the period of the occupation of Ger¬ 
many. The occupation, however, is 
over. The Soviet Union, the United 
States, the United Kingdom, France and 
the other states have announced the 
ending of the state of war with Ger¬ 
many. In view of this the contentions 
of the United States Note about certain 
rights to continue the occupation are 
obviously without foundation. 

In the light of the above facts it is 
easy to understand that the Soviet Union 
does not mean a unilateral denunciation 
of the agreements on Berlin, as the 
governments of the three western powers 
are attempting to matce out, but is only 
trying to draw a logical conclusion from 
the existing situation—a situation char¬ 
acterised by the ending of the occupa¬ 
tion of Germany and the flagrant viola¬ 
tion by the western powers of the com¬ 
mitments they assumed at the end of 
the war. 

In its Note the United States govern¬ 
ment declares that the western powers 
have obtained their rights in Berlin also 
because they “ permitted ” the Soviet 
Union to occupy certain areas of Ger¬ 
many which were taken by the American 
and British troops in the course of the 
war. 

These contentions are nothing but a 
crude distortion of the facts. It is well 
known that agreement on the occupation 
zones was reached during the war when 
it was difficult to foresee whose troops 
would reach those zones first. At the 
same time it is necessary to recall that 
when the war ended in Europe there 
were Soviet troops, not only in Ger¬ 
many, but on the territories of many 
other countries as well—Austria, for in¬ 
stance. However, the Soviet Union has 
never raised the question of compensa¬ 
tion for the withdrawal of its troops 
from those territories, nor did it demand 
any concessions for the admission of 
Allied troops into areas occupied by the 
Soviet forces—Vienna, for instance—be¬ 
cause to make such claims would be 


7 


tantamount to unseemly bargaining over 
the territories of other nations. It is 
amazing therefore that the United States 
government permits such an approach 
to a country like Germany. 

The United States government declares 
that it could agree to discuss the Berlin 
question at broader talks on the solu¬ 
tion of thp German problem, including 
the unification of Germany and the 
question of European security. 

The Soviet government has repeatedly 
pointed out that there can be no meet¬ 
ings of the four powers to discuss the 
question of the unification of Germany, 
because this question is outside the com¬ 
petence of the U.S.S.R., the United 
States, Britain and France. 

The four-power negotiations on the 
unity of Germany were quite lawful 
during the occupation, when these 
powers were discharging administrative 
and control functions in Germany. Now, 
however, when the occupation is a thing 
of the past and two independent German 
states have taken shape on the territory 
of Germany, the question of the reunifi¬ 
cation of Germany has become an in¬ 
ternal German problem which can be 
solved only through rapprochement and 
agreement between these states. 

As regards the problem of European 
security, the Soviet government attaches 
tremendous importance to its solution. 
It has repeatedly made proposals for 
establishing a system of measures to 
ensure European security. Suffice it to 
recall such proposals as those for con¬ 
cluding a non-aggression agreement be¬ 
tween the states signatories to the North 
Atlantic Pact and the Warsaw Treaty, 
for the withdrawal of foreign troops 
from the territory of Europe, and also 
the support given by the Soviet govern¬ 
ment to the Polish proposal for estab¬ 
lishing an atom-free zone in Central 
Europe. The Soviet government is 
convinced that the problem of European 
security calls for a special discussion and 
cannot be lumped together with other 
questions, including the Berlin issue. 
Incidentally, the United States govern¬ 
ment, in its Note, has not said a single 
word about ways and means of ensuring 
European security such as would be 


acceptable to all the states concerned. 
In such circumstances no one can avoid 
getting the impression that the United 
States government is obviously trying to 
hamper agreed decisions on the Berlin 
question and European security by mak¬ 
ing the solutions to these questions 
dependent on each other. 

The Soviet government is trying to 
settle the Berlin question through nego¬ 
tiations among the states concerned. It 
is convinced that its proposal for making 
West Berlin a demilitarised free city 
provides a sound basis for agreement, 
since it is in line with the general inter¬ 
ests of consolidating peace in Europe. 
At the same time the implementation of 
the Soviet proposal does not prejudice 
the prestige or encroach on the security 
interests of any state, nor does it grant 
any unilateral advantages to anyone. 

It goes without saying that the Soviet 
government in no way regards its pro¬ 
posal for a free city of West Berlin as 
precluding any addenda or amendments. 
It is willing to consider proposals on 
this question put forward by other 
powers, provided these proposals are 
directed towards ending the occupation 
regime in West Berlin and towards con¬ 
solidating peace in Europe. 

Refusal by the western powers to 
enter into negotiations with the Soviet 
Union with a view to normalising the 
situation in, Berlin naturally will not 
make the Soviet Union stop halfway 
towards a goal which has been set by 
life itself and which ensures the stability 
of the situation and tranquillity in the 
centre of Europe. No one can prevent 
the Soviet Union from renouncing its 
functions with regard to Berlin and its 
communications with Western Germany 
and from settling the questions arising 
therefrom through an agreement with 
the German Democratic Republic. 

To sum up what has been said above, 
the Soviet government, in addition to its 
proposal for convening a peace confer¬ 
ence, suggests that the states concerned 
should discuss the Berlin question as 
well. If the western powers find it 
desirable to exchange views with the 
Soviet Union on the contents of the 
Peace Treaty prior to the convocation of 


8 


the peace conference, the Soviet govern¬ 
ment will be agreeable. In that case it 
will be necessary to ensure adequate 
participation of the German Democratic 
Republic and the Federal Republic of 
Germany as states directly interested in 
the conclusion of a peace treaty with 
Germany. 

The Soviet government expresses the 
hope that the government of the United 
States of America will study with due 
attention the proposals submitted and 
the draft Peace Treaty with Germany 
forwarded herewith, and, for its part, 
it will exert every effort to enable the 


peace conference to accomplish its im¬ 
portant task successfully. 

At the same time the Soviet govern¬ 
ment would like to believe that the 
government of the United States, recog¬ 
nising that the preservation of the occu¬ 
pation regime in West Berlin is abnor¬ 
mal, will draw the necessary conclusions 
from the existing situation and will assist 
in settling the question of Berlin as is 
demanded by the interests of strengthen¬ 
ing peace in Europe and throughout the 
world. 

Moscow. January 10, 1959. 


DRAFT PEACE TREATY 
WITH GERMANY 


T HE Union of Soviet Socialist Repub¬ 
lics, the United Kingdom of Great 
Britain and Northern Ireland, the United 
States of America, the French Republic, 
Australia, the People’s Republic of 
Albania, Belgium, the Byelorussian Soviet 
Socialist Republic, the People’s Republic 
of Bulgaria, Brazil, the Hungarian 
People’s Republic, Greece, Denmark, 
India, Italy, Canada, the Chinese People’s 
Republic, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, 
New Zealand, Norway, Pakistan, the 
Polish People’s Republic, the Rumanian 
People’s Republic, the Ukrainian Soviet 
Socialist Republic, Finland, the Czecho¬ 
slovak Republic, the Federal People’s 
Republic of Yugoslavia and the Union of 
South Africa, as states which took part 
with their armed forces in the war against 
Germany, and hereinafter referred to as 
“the Allied and Associated Powers,” of 
the one part, 

And Germany, now represented by the 
German Democratic Republic and the 
Federal Republic of Germany (or in the 
event of a German Confederation being 
set up by the time the Peace Treaty is 
signed—the German Confederation, and 
also the German Democratic Republic 
and the Federal Republic of Germany), 
of the other part; 

Noting that there is no further justifica¬ 
tion for the continuation of the pro¬ 
foundly abnormal situation in which, 


years after the ending of hostilities, 
foreign troops remain on the territory of 
Germany and the German nation is still 
deprived of the right to exercise fully its 
state sovereignty and to maintain equal 
relations with the other states, and is 
outside the United Nations ; 

Guided by the desire to implement in 
the prevailing conditions the principal 
proposition stipulated by the documents 
of the anti-Hitlerite coalition and parti¬ 
cularly the Potsdam Agreement; 

Believing that the absence of a peaceful 
settlement precludes a just approach to 
the legitimate national interests of the 
German people and is largely conducive 
to the aggravation of tension and 
instability in Europe ; 

Being unanimous in their intention to 
make a final reckoning of the war 
unleashed by Hitler Germany, a war 
which brought incalculable sufferings and 
calamities to many people, including the 
German nation ; 

Recognising that during the years since 
the ending of hostilities the German 
people have proved in many ways that 
they condemn the crimes committed 
against the peoples of Europe as a result 
of the aggression unleashed by German 
militarism ; 

Fully resolved never to allow Germany 
to threaten its neighbours or other nations, 
or to unleash a new war ; 


9 


Desirous of giving Germany an oppor¬ 
tunity to develop along peaceful and 
democratic lines and to co-operate fruit¬ 
fully with other states as an equal mem¬ 
ber of the comity of nations ; 

Convinced that the conclusion of a 
peace treaty would be of exceptionally 
great significance for ensuring Europe’s 
security and the consolidation of world 
peace; 

PART I 

POLITICAL AND TERRITORIAL 
CLAUSES 


Holding that the conclusion of a peace 
treaty with Germany is a necessary and 
important step towards the restoration of 
Germany’s national unity, 

Have decided to conclude the present 
Peace Treaty and have therefore 
appointed the undersigned Plenipoten¬ 
tiaries who, having communicated their 
Full Powers, found in good and due form, 
have agreed on the following provisions : 


1. Peace and Peaceful 
Relations 

ARTICLE 1 

The Allied and Associated Powers, of 
the one part, and Germany, of the other 
part, declare and confirm the ending of 
the state of war and the establishment of 
peaceful relations between them, and 
moreover, all the ensuing political and 
juridical consequences take effect as from 
the entry into force of an appropriate 
statement or declaration by each of the 
Allied and Associated Powers. 

ARTICLE 2 

Until Germany is reunited in this or 
other form, the present Treaty shall mean 
by the term “ Germany ” the two exist¬ 
ing German states—the German Demo¬ 
cratic Republic and the Federal Republic 
of Germany, and all Germany’s rights 
and obligations stipulated in it shall be 
equally binding on the German Demo¬ 
cratic Republic and the Federal Republic 
of Germany. 

ARTICLE 3 

The Allied and Associated Powers 
undertake to recognise the German 
people’s full sovereignty over Germany, 
including its territorial waters and air 
space. 

ARTICLE 4 

1. The Allied and Associated Powers 
declare that they will cultivate their 


relations with Germany on the principles 
of respect for Germany’s sovereignty and 
territorial integrity, non-interference in 
its home affairs, non-aggression, equality 
and mutual benefit, and in accordance 
with the provisions of the present Treaty, 
in its relations with all countries Germany 
shall be guided by the same principles. 

2. Germany commits itself to solve all 
international disputes only by peaceful 
means so as not to endanger international 
peace and security. Germany also 
pledges itself to refrain from the threat 
of force in international relations or its 
use against the territorial integrity or 
political independence of any state, and 
not to give aid or support to any nation 
or group of nations violating inter¬ 
national peace and security. 

ARTICLE 5 

1. Germany assumes a commitment 
not to enter any military alliances 
directed against any of the powers parties 
to the present treaty, and also not to take 
part in any military alliances whose 
membership does not include all the four 
principal Allied Powers of the anti- 
Hitlerite coalition—the U.S.S.R., the 
United States, the United Kingdom and 
France. 

2. The Allied and Associated Powers 
undertake to respect Germany’s obliga¬ 
tion not to take part in the military 
alliances mentioned in Point 1 and refrain 
from any actions with regard to Germany 
liable to entail a direct or indirect breach 


10 


of this commitment by it. 

3. The Allied and Associated Powers 
will do everything possible to let Ger¬ 
many take part, on an equal footing, in 
measures to strengthen all-European 
security and the establishment of a 
security system in Europe based on the 
joint efforts of the European nations. 

4. With the entry into force of this 
Treaty, Germany—the German Demo¬ 
cratic Republic and the Federal Republic 
of Germany—will be freed from the obli¬ 
gations arising from membership of the 
Warsaw Treaty Organisation and the 
North Atlantic and West European 
Unions respectively. 

ARTICLE 6 

Germany undertakes to recognise the 
full force of the Peace Treaties with 
Bulgaria, Hungary, Italy, Rumania and 
Finland. 

ARTICLE 7 

After the entry into force of the present 
Treaty, the Allied and Associated Powers 
shall support Germany’s application for 
admittance to the United Nations. 

2. Frontiers 

ARTICLE 8 

The frontiers of Germany shall be those 
existing on January 1, 1959. Germany’s 
frontiers are shown on the map appended 
to the present Treaty (Supplement No. 1). 

Until Germany is united in one state, 
the territories of the German Democratic 
Republic and the Federal Republic of 
Germany are delimited by the line exist¬ 
ing on January 1, 1959, as shown on the 
map appended to the Treaty (Supplement 
No. 1). 

ARTICLE 9 

In conformity with the Potsdam Agree¬ 
ment of 1945 : 

(a) Germany renounces all its rights 
and legal and other claims to the former 
German territories east of the line run¬ 
ning from the Baltic Sea, slightly to the 
west of Swinemunde, along the River 
Oder to its confluence with the Western 
Neisse, and along the Western Neisse to 
the Czechoslovak frontier, including the 
territory of former East Prussia and also 
the territory of the former City of Danzig 
which have now passed under the 
sovereignty of the Polish People’s Repub¬ 


lic, which Germany recognises. 

(b) Germany renounces its rights and 
legal and other claims to the former City 
of Koenigsberg and the adjacent area 
which have passed under the sovereignty 
of the Union of Soviet Socialist Repub¬ 
lics, which Germany recognises. 

ARTICLE 10 

Germany recognises as invalid the 
Munich Agreement with all the con¬ 
sequences arising from it and declares 
that it will always recognise the former 
so-called Sudeten region as an integral 
part of the national territory of the 
Czechoslovak Republic. 

ARTICLE 11 

Germany undertakes to recognise that 
the territory of Alsace-Lorraine is a part 
of the French Republic. 

The Saar fegion remains within the 
territory of Germany. 

ARTICLE 12 

Germany confirms and recognises the 
changes and delimitation of its frontiers, 
effected according to the agreements con¬ 
cluded with the neighbouring countries 
in the period from May, 1945, to 
January 1, 1959. 

3. Germany and Austria 

ARTICLE 13 

1. Germany undertakes to recognise 
the full force of the State Treaty re¬ 
establishing an independent and demo¬ 
cratic Austria of May 15, 1955, and the 
prohibition of an anschluss contained in 
it. 

2. In conformity with this, Germany 
shall respect the sovereignty and indepen¬ 
dence of Austria and renounces all terri¬ 
torial and political claims to Austria and 
Austrian territory. 

3. Germany undertakes to recognise, 
and pledges itself to respect, the perma¬ 
nent neutrality of Austria as it is laid 
down by the Federal Constitutional Law 
of Austria adopted by the Austrian 
Parliament on October 26, 1955. 

4. In order to prevent an anschluss it 
is prohibited to conclude any political or 
economic alliance between Germany and 
Austria. Germany fully recognises its 
responsibility in this question and shall 
not enter into a political or economic 


11 


alliance with Austria in any form what¬ 
soever. 

Germany must not conclude any 
agreements with Austria, undertake any 
actions or carry out any measures 
directly or indirectly promoting its 
political and economic alliance with 
Austria, or jeopardising the territorial, 
integrity, or political or economic inde¬ 
pendence of Austria. Germany further 
pledges itself not to allow any actions on 
its territory directly or indirectly pro¬ 
moting such an alliance, and is to preclude 
the existence, revival or activity of any 
organisations pursuing the aim of estab¬ 
lishing a political or economic alliance 
with Austria, and propaganda in favour 
of an alliance with Austria. 

4. Basic Human Rights 
and Freedoms 

ARTICLE 14 

1. Germany shall take all measures 
necessary to secure to all persons under 
German jurisdiction, without distinction 
as to race, sex, language, religion, 
nationality, origin or political convic¬ 
tions, the enjoyment of human rights and 
of the fundamental freedoms, including 
personal freedom, freedom of expression, 
of the press and publication, of religious 
worship, of political opinion, of associa¬ 
tion and political meetings. 

2. Germany also undertakes that the 
laws in force on its territory shall not, 
either in their content or in their applica¬ 
tion, discriminate or entail any dis¬ 
crimination between German nationals 
on the grounds of their race, sex, 
language, religion, nationality, origin, 
political convictions or party affiliation, 
whether in reference to their persons, 
property, business, professional or finan¬ 
cial interests, status, political or civil 
rights, or any other matters. 

3. Past membership by any German 
national of the National-Socialist Party 
or organisations affiliated to it or under its 
control cannot be regarded as a reason 
for restricting the rights and freedoms 
stipulated in Point 1, if this is not done 
on the basis of a court ruling. 

4. Persons of German nationality 


moved to Germany from other countries 
in conformity with the decisions of the 
1945 Potsdam Conference enjoy on the 
territory of Germany all the rights 
mentioned in Point 1 without any dis¬ 
crimination, as equal German nationals. 

ARTICLE 15 

The German authorities or nationals 
are prohibited from persecuting any 
person on the grounds that during the 
Second World War he acted in favour of 
the Allied and Associated Powers or 
expressed sympathy for their cause, as 
well as on the grounds that prior to the 
entry into force of the present Treaty this 
person committed actions facilitating the 
fulfilment of the joint decisions of the 
U.S.S.R., the United States, the United 
Kingdom and France on Germany, or 
any of the proclamations, injunctions, 
ordinances and instructions issued on the 
strength of these decisions. 

5. Political Parties and 
Other Organisations 

ARTICLE 16 

Germany undertakes to ensure un¬ 
hampered activity to political parties and 
other organisations with the exception of 
parties and organisations mentioned in 
Articles 13, 17 and 18, and to give them 
the right to manage their internal affairs 
freely, to hold congresses and meetings, 
to enjoy freedom of the press and 
publication. 

ARTICLE 17 

Germany undertakes not to allow, 
under threat of penal punishment, the 
revival, existence and activity of the 
National-Socialist Party and organisations 
affiliated to it or under its control on 
German territory, including political, 
military and para-military organisations, 
as well as the emergence and activity of 
other similar parties and organisations 
and, particularly, revanchist parties and 
organisations demanding a revision of 
Germany’s frontiers or making territorial 
claims on other states. 

ARTICLE 18 

Germany assumes the commitment to 
dissolve and not to allow, under threat of 
penal punishment, the existence and 


12 


activity on its territory of any organisa¬ 
tions, including emigre bodies, which con¬ 
duct hostile activity against any of the 
Allied and Associated Powers. 

Germany shall not grant political 
asylum to persons affiliated to the afore¬ 
mentioned organisations. 

6. Other Clauses 

ARTICLE 19 

Germany undertakes to recognise the 
ruling of the International War Tribunal 
in Nuremburg and the rulings of other 
courts on crimes stipulated by the Charter 
of this Tribunal and committed either 
inside or outside Germany. 

ARTICLE 20 

Germany undertakes not to allow in 
any form propaganda having the purpose 
of, or being capable of creating or 
increasing a threat to peace, a violation of 
peace or an act of aggression, including 
war propaganda and also any kind 
of revanchist statements demanding a 
revision of the German frontiers or 


making territorial claims on other 
countries. 

ARTICLE 21 

1. Germany undertakes to give all-out 
support to the repatriation of the nationals 
of the Allied and Associated Powers who 
came to be on German territory as a result 
of the war. 

2. For their part the Allied and 
Associated Powers will render similar 
assistance, in cases in which this has still 
not been done, to the repatriation of 
German nationals who came to be on the 
territories of the Allied and Associated 
Powers as a result of the war. 

3. The Allied Powers assume the 
commitment, if it has not been done 
earlier, to repatriate within six months 
after the Treaty enters into force all Ger¬ 
man specialists forcibly moved from 
Germany during the war and after its 
conclusion. The provision of this Article 
do not affect persons who left Germany 
at their own discretion. 


PART II 

CLAUSES ON THE RE-ESTABLISHMENT 
OF THE UNITY OF QERMANY 


ARTICLE 22 

The Allied and Associated Powers 
recognise the right of the German people 
to the restoration of the unity of Germany 
and express their readiness to render both 
German states all-out assistance in 
reaching this goal on the basis of 
rapprochement and agreement between 
the German Democratic Republic and the 
Federal Republic of Germany. 

Both German states, as well as the 
Allied and Associated Powers, regard this 
Treaty as an important contribution to 
the cause of the reunification of Germany 
in accordance with the national aspira¬ 
tions of the German people and with the 
interests of ensuring security in Europe 
and throughout the world. 

ARTICLE 23 

In view of the fact that any attempt to 
settle the question of the reunification of 


Germany by means of force would be 
fraught with the danger of war, entailing 
incalculable calamities for the peoples of 
Europe, and for the German people in 
the first place, the German Democratic 
Republic and the Federal Republic of 
Germany solemnly undertake never to 
resort to force or to the threat of force 
for achieving the unification of Germany 
and will settle by peaceful means any 
disputes that may arise in the relations 
between them. 

ARTICLE 24 

After the restoration of Germany’s 
unity the present Treaty shall remain in 
force and its provisions shall apply to the 
united German state. 

ARTICLE 25 

Pending the restoration of Germany’s 
unity and the establishment of a united 
German state, West Berlin shall have the 
standing of a demilitarised free city with 
its special status. 


13 


PART III 

MILITARY CLAUSES 


ARTICLE 26 

Germany shall have its national armed 
forces (land, air and naval) necessary for 
the defence of the country. 

ARTICLE 27 

The following persons shall not be 
permitted to serve in the German armed 
forces: 

(a) Persons convicted by the courts 
of the countries which were at war with 
Germany or by German courts for their 
crimes against peace and humanity and 
for war crimes; 

(b) Persons who are not German 
nationals; 

(c) Persons not of German nationality 
who found themselves on the territory of 
Germany during or after the end of the 
war, irrespective of the fact of whether 
or not they subsequently became Ger¬ 
man citizens. 

ARTICLE 28 

Germany shall not have, produce, 
acquire or experiment with: 

(a) Any types of nuclear weapons or 
other means of mass destruction, 
including biological and chemical 
weapons; 

(b) Any types of rockets and guided 
missiles, as well as apparatus and instal¬ 
lations necessary for their launching or 
guiding; 

(c) Aircraft designed mainly as 
bombers with bomb and shell racks; 

(d) Submarines. 

ARTICLE 29 

Germany shall not have, produce or 
acquire war materials and equipment, 
either publicly or privately, or in any 
other way, or maintain production facili¬ 
ties for their manufacture in excess of 


the quantity necessary for equipping the 
armed forces permitted by Article 26 of 
the present Treaty, nor shall it export 
from the territory of Germany to other 
countries any war materials and equip¬ 
ment. 

ARTICLE 30 

All foreign troops now stationed in 
Germany are to be withdrawn from 
Germany not later than within one year 
after the coming into force of the present 
Treaty. 

(Or: After the coming into force of 
the present Treaty all foreign troops now 
stationed in Germany shall be withdrawn 
from Germany within time limits to 
be agreed upon by the parties concerned 
so that within six months of the coming 
into force of the Treaty the numerical 
strength of foreign troops stationed on 
German territory shall be reduced by 
one-third). 

Simultaneously with the withdrawal of 
foreign troops from Germany, all foreign 
military bases on German territory shall 
be closed down. 

In the future Germany shall not 
permit the stationing of any bases on its 
territory. 

ARTICLE 31 

Germany undertakes to respect, pre¬ 
serve and maintain the graves on German 
territory of the soldiers, prisoners of war 
and nationals forcibly taken to Germany 
of the powers which were at war with 
Germany, the memorials and emblems 
on these graves, and the memorials to 
the military glory of the armies which 
fought against Hitlerite Germany. 

The Allied and Associated Powers 
undertake, for their part, to ensure the 
maintenance of the marked graves of 
German soldiers on their territories. 


PART IV 

ECONOMIC CLAUSES 


ARTICLE 32 

No restrictions shall be imposed on 
Germany in the development of its 
peaceful econmy, which is to promote 
the welfare of the German people. 


Nor shall Germany be in any way 
restricted with regard to its trade with 
other countries, navigation and access 
to world markets. 


14 


ARTICLE 33 

After the withdrawal of foreign troops 
from German territory any German 
property which is being used by the 
armed forces of foreign states on the 
territory of Germany and for which no 
compensation has been paid shall be 
restored to its owners or adequate com¬ 
pensation shall be paid. 

ARTICLE 34 

1. In so far as such action has not 
already been taken, Germany shall 
restore all legal rights and interests in 
Germany of the Allied and Associated 
Powers and their nationals as they 
existed on September 1, 1939, and for 
the Czechoslovak Republic and its citi¬ 
zens—on September 30, 1938, and return 
all property of the Allied and Associated 
Powers and their nationals or pay com¬ 
pensation for it. The order and terms of 
the implementation of the provisions of 
the present Article shall be determined 
by special agreements between Germany 
and the states concerned. 

“ Property ” means movable or im¬ 
movable property, whether tangible or 
intangible, including industrial, literary 
and artistic property, as well as all rights 
and interests of any kind in the property. 

2. The existence of the state of war 
in itself shall not be regarded as affecting 
the obligation to pay pecuniary debts 
arising out of obligations and contracts 
that existed prior to the state of war. 

3. Germany undertakes to permit no 
discrimination with regard to the satis¬ 
faction of claims to compensation for 
the damage sustained by nationals of the 
Allied and Associated Powers, irrespec¬ 
tive of the nature of the compensation 
due or of the organisation or institution 
which is to satisfy the claim. 

ARTICLE 35 

Germany shall recognise the rights 
of any Allied or Associated Power to 
German assets in other countries trans¬ 
ferred to this Power on the strength of 
agreements between the U.S.S.R., the 
United States, the United Kingdom and 
France. 

Germany shall recognise the decisions 


with regard to the German assets in 
Austria as contained in the State Treaty 
on the re-establishment of an indepen¬ 
dent and democratic Austria. 

ARTICLE 36 

1. Germany waives all claims of any 
description against the Allied and Asso¬ 
ciated Powers and their organisations 
and nationals on behalf of Germany, 
German organisations and nationals, 
claims arising directly out of the war 
or out of the actions taken because of 
the existence of a state of war in Europe 
after September 1, 1939, whether or not 
such an Allied or an Associated Power 
was at war with Germany at the time. 
This renunciation of claims includes the 
following: 

(a) Claims for losses or damage 
sustained as a consequence of acts of 
the armed forces or authorities of the 
Allied or Associated Powers ; 

(b) Claims arising from the presence, 
operations or actions of the armed 
forces or authorities of the Allied or 
Associated Powers on German territory. 

(c) Claims with respect to the decrees 
or orders of prize courts of the Allied 
or Associated Powers, Germany agreeing 
to accept as valid and binding all decrees 
and orders of such prize courts after 
September 1, 1939, concerning German 
sea-going or river vessels or German 
goods or concerning the payment of 
costs. 

(d) Claims arising out of the exercise 
or purported exercise of belligerent 
rights. 

2. The waiving of claims by Ger¬ 
many under Paragraph 1 of this article 
includes any claims arising out of the 
actions taken by any of the Allied or 
Associated Powers with respect to 
German sea-going or river vessels after 
September 1, 1939, as well as any claims 
and debts arising out of the conventions 
on prisoners of war now in force. 

3. The provisions of this Article shall 
bar, completely and finally, all claims 
of the nature referred to herein, which 
shall henceforth be extinguished, who¬ 
ever may be the parties interested. The 


German government agrees to make 
equitable compensation in marks to 
persons who furnished supplies or 
services on requisition to the forces of 
Allied or Associated Powers on German 
territory and in satisfaction of non¬ 
combat damage claims against the forces 
of the Allied or Associated Powers 
arising on German territory. 

ARTICLE 37 

Germany likewise waives all public 
claims, all the claims of German public 
juridical persons and the claims of 
German private juridical persons and 
German nationals with regard to the 
territories which were returned to other 
states and placed under their jurisdiction. 

ARTICLE 38 

The states which now have under 
their jurisdiction a part of the former 
German territory bear no responsibility 
for the obligations arising out of the 
debts of the German state, German 
municipalities and German public insti¬ 
tutions, or for any other public juridical 
and private juridical questions which 
arose prior to May 8, 1945, and are 
connected with this territory. 

ARTICLE 39 

1. Germany agrees to enter into 
negotiations with any Allied or Associ¬ 
ated Power and conclude treaties or 


agreements on trade and shipping, 
granting every Allied and Associated 
Power most favoured nation treatment 
on a reciprocal basis. 

2. Germany shall not permit any 
discrimination or artificial restrictions 
in anything that concerns its trade with 
Allied and Associated Powers. The 
Allied and Associated Powers, for their 
part, shall adhere to the same principle 
in their trade with Germany. 

3. Germany shall not grant any 
exclusive or discriminatory right to any 
country with regard to the use of com¬ 
mercial aircraft for international 
communications within Germany’s 
frontiers; Germany shall grant the 
Allied and Associated Powers, on a 
reciprocal basis, equal possibilities in 
obtaining rights on German territory in 
the sphere of international commercial 
aviation, including the right to land for 
refuelling and repairs. These provisions 
should not affect the interests of the 
national defence of Germany. 

ARTICLE 40 

Germany undertakes to grant Austria 
the right of free transit and communi¬ 
cations without levying customs duties 
and tariffs between Salzburg and Lofer 
(Salzburg) via Reichenhall-Steinpach and 
between Scharnitz (Tyrol) and Ehrwald 
(Tyrol) via Garmisch-Partenkirchen. 


PART V 

REPARATIONS AND RESTITUTIONS 


ARTICLE 41 

The question of the payment of 
reparations by Germany in compensation 
for the damage it inflicted on the Allied 
and Associated Powers during the war 
is regarded as fully settled and the 
Allied and Associated Powers waive 
any claim against Germany as regards 
further reparation payments. 

ARTICLE 42 

In so far as Germany has not already 
done so, Germany undertakes to return 
in good order all the objects of artistic, 
historical or archaeological value which 
constitute part of the cultural assets of 


the Allied and Associated Powers and 
were forcibly or under coercion trans¬ 
ported from their territories to Germany. 

Claims for restitution of the afore¬ 
mentioned objects can be presented 
within 12 months from the coming into 
force of the present Treaty. 

Germany shall also transfer to the 
states to which parts of former German 
territory were returned or placed under 
their jurisdiction, all historical, juridical, 
administrative and technical archives 
together with maps and plans concern¬ 
ing these territories. 


16 



PART VI 
FINAL CLAUSES 


ARTICLE 43 

With the coming into force of the 
present Peace Treaty Germany shall 
be freed of all obligations under inter¬ 
national treaties and agreements which 
were concluded by the government of 
the German Democratic Republic and 
the government of the Federal Republic 
of Germany prior to the coming into 
force of the present Treaty and which 
are in contradiction with the provisions 
of the Peace Treaty. 

ARTICLE 44 

Any dispute concerning the interpre¬ 
tation or execution of the Treaty which 
is not settled by direct diplomatic 
negotiations or in any other way by 
agreement between the parties to the 
dispute, shall be referred to a com¬ 
mission composed of representatives of 
the Soviet Union, the United Kingdom, 
the United States of America, France, 
the German Democratic Republic and 
the Federal Republic of Germany. Any 
such dispute not resolved by the com¬ 
mission for the settlement of this dispute 
within a period of two months shall, 
unless the parties to the dispute mutually 
agree upon another means of settlement, 
be referred to a commission composed 
of one representative of each party and 
a third member, selected by mutual 
agreement of the two parties from 
nationals of a third country. 

ARTICLE 45 

1. The present Treaty shall be 
ratified and come into force immediately 
the instruments of ratification are 
deposited by the Union of Soviet 
Socialist Republics, by the United 
Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern 
Ireland, by the United States of America, 
by France and Germany. With respect 


to every country which will subsequently 
ratify the present Treaty or accede to 
it, the Treaty will come into force upon 
the depositing of the instruments of 
ratification or accession by this state. 

2. If the Treaty does not come into 
force within 10 months after the date 
of the depositing of Germany’s instru¬ 
ments of ratification, any state which 
has ratified it may enforce the Treaty 
between itself and Germany by notifying 
Germany and the depositary state thereof 
within three years from the date of the 
depositing of the instruments of ratifica¬ 
tion by Germany. 

ARTICLE 46 

Any state which was at war with 
Germany and is not a signatory to the 
present Treaty may accede to the 
Treaty. 

ARTICLE 47 

The Treaty will grant no legal or 
other rights or advantages to states 
which do not become signatories to the 
present Treaty and no legal or other 
rights or interests of Germany shall be 
regarded as infringed by any provisions 
of the present Treaty in favour of such 
states. 

ARTICLE 48 

The present Treaty as well as all 
instruments of ratification and accession 
shall be deposited with the government 

of -- which shall furnish 

certified copies to each of the signatory 
or acceding states and inform these 
states of all further ratifications and 
accessions. 

In witness whereof the undersigned 
Plenipotentiaries have signed the present 
Treaty and have affixed thereto their 
seals. 

Done in -— in the Russian, 

English, French and German languages, 
with all texts being equally authentic. 


17 




SOVIET GOVERNMENT’S NOTES TO 
BRITAIN, USA AND FRANCE ON THE 
QUESTION OF BERLIN 

Text of Note to United States (government 

on November 271958 


T HE government of the Union of 
Soviet Socialist Republics is addres¬ 
sing the government of the United States 
of America, as one of the powers that 
signed the Potsdam Agreement, on the 
urgent question of the status of Berlin. 

The question of Berlin, which lies in 
the centre of the German Democratic 
Republic but the western part of which 
is severed from the German Democratic 
Republic as a consequence of foreign 
occupation, profoundly affects not only 
the national interests of the German 
people but also the interests of all 
peoples wishing to establish a lasting 
peace in Europe. There, in the historic 
capital of Germany, two worlds are in 
direct contact and barricades of the 
“ cold war ” exist at every step. A situ¬ 
ation of constant friction and tension has 
prevailed for many years in the city, 
which is divided into two parts. Berlin, 
which witnessed the greatest triumph of 
the joint struggle of our countries against 
fascist aggression, has now become a 
dangerous centre of contradictions 
between the great powers which were 
allies in the last war. Its role in the 
relations between the powers can be com¬ 
pared with a slow-burning fuse leading 
to a barrel of gunpowder. Incidents arising 
there, even if they seem to be of local 
significance, in a situation of heated 


passions, suspicion and mutual appre¬ 
hension may cause a conflagration which 
it will be difficult to put out. 

This is the dismal finale, reached after 
13 postwar years, to the once joint, con¬ 
certed policy of the four powers—the 
U.S.S.R., the United States, the United 
Kingdom and France—towards Germany. 

In order to assess correctly the real 
importance of the Berlin problem con¬ 
fronting us today and in order to deter¬ 
mine the possibilities available for 
normalising the situation in Berlin, it is 
necessary to recall the development of 
the policy towards Germany of the 
powers which were parties to the anti- 
Hitler coalition. 

It is common knowledge that it was not 
by any means immediately that the 
United States, or the United Kingdom 
and France either, drew the conclusion 
that it was necessary to establish co-oper¬ 
ation with the Soviet Union with the aim 
of resisting Hitler aggression, though the 
Soviet government constantly displayed 
willingness for this. In the capitals of 
the western states opposite tendencies 
prevailed for a long time and they 
became most obvious in the period of 
the Munich deal with Hitler. Entertaining 
the hope of taming German militarism 
and pushing it eastward, the governments 


18 


of the western powers tolerated and en¬ 
couraged the policy of blackmail and 
threats pursued by Hitler and acts of 
direct aggression by nazi Germany and 
its ally, fascist Italy, against a number 
of peaceloving states. 

It was only when fascist Germany, up¬ 
setting the shortsighted calculations of 
the inspirers of Munich, turned against 
the western powers, and when the nazi 
army began moving westward, crushing 
Denmark, Norway, Belgium and the 
Netherlands and breaking the back of 
France, that the governments of the 
United States and the United Kingdom 
had no alternative but to acknowledge 
their miscalculations and take the road 
of organising, jointly with the Soviet 
Union, resistance to fascist Germany, 
Italy and Japan. Given a more far¬ 
sighted policy on the part of the western 
powers, such co-operation between the 
Soviet Union, the United States, the 
United Kingdom and France could have 
been established much earlier, in the first 
years after Hitler seized power in Ger¬ 
many, and then there would have been 
no occupation of France, no Dunkirk and 
no Pearl Harbour. In that case it would 
have been possible to save the millions 
of human fives which were sacrificed by 
the peoples of the Soviet Union, Poland, 
Yugoslavia, France, Britain, Czecho¬ 
slovakia, the United States, Greece, Nor¬ 
way and other countries in order to curb 
the aggressors. 

The creation of the anti-Hitler coalition 
was an event unprecedented in modern 
history, if only because states with differ¬ 
ing social systems united in a defensive, 
just war against the common enemy. 
The Soviet government greatly appre¬ 
ciates the co-operation of the countries— 
co-operation which took shape in the 
struggle against fascism and was sealed 
by the blood of the freedom-loving 
peoples. The Soviet people would like 
to preserve and develop the sentiments 
of trust and friendship which marked 
their relations with the peoples of the 
of the United States, the United King¬ 
dom, France and the other countries of 
the anti-Hitler coalition during the stern 
years of the last war. 

When the peoples were celebrating vic¬ 


tory over Hitler Germany, a conference 
was held in Potsdam between the heads 
of government of the Soviet Union, the 
United States and the United Kingdom 
in order to work out a joint policy to¬ 
wards postwar Germany. The Potsdam 
Agreement, to which France acceded 
soon after its signing, generalised the 
historical experience of the struggle 
waged by the peoples to prevent aggres¬ 
sion by German militarism. The whole 
content of that agreement was directed 
towards creating conditions that would 
exclude the possibility of an attack by 
Germany—not for the first time—on 
peaceloving states, towards preventing 
the German militarists from unleashing 
another world war, towards Germany— 
having abandoned forever the mirage of 
a policy of conquest—firmly taking the 
road of peaceful development. 

Expressing the will of the peoples who 
made incalculable sacrifices for the sake 
of smashing the Hitler aggressors, the 
governments of the four powers solemnly 
pledged themselves to extirpate German 
militarism and nazism, to prevent for¬ 
ever their resurgence and to take all 
measures to ensure that Germany would 
never again threaten her neighbours or 
the preservation of world peace. The 
participants in the Potsdam Conference 
expressed their 'determination to prevent 
any fascist and militarist activity or 
propaganda. They also pledged them¬ 
selves to permit and encourage all 
democratic political parties in Germany. 
With the aim of destroying the economic 
foundations of German militarism, it 
was resolved to eliminate the excessive 
concentration in the economy of Ger¬ 
many, represented in the form of cartels, 
syndicates, trusts and other monopoly 
organisations which had ensured the 
assumption of power by fascism and the 
preparation and carrying out of Hitler 
aggression. 

The Potsdam Agreement contained 
important provisions whereby Germany 
was to be regarded as a single economic 
whole during the occupation period. The 
agreement also provided for the setting 
up of central German administrative 
departments. The Council of Foreign 
Ministers, set up by decision of the Pots- 


19 


dam Conference, was instructed to pre¬ 
pare a peace settlement for Germany. 

The implementation of all these 
measures should have enabled the 
German people to effect a fundamental 
reconstruction of their life and to ensure 
the establishment of a united, peace- 
loving and democratic German state. 

Such are the main provisions of the 
Potsdam Agreement, which ensured a 
just combination of the interests both of 
the peoples who had fought against 
Germany and the fundamental interests 
of the German people themselves, 
and at the same time created a 
sound foundation for carrying through 
a concerted policy of the four powers 
on the German question, and con¬ 
sequently, for extensive and fruitful co¬ 
operation among them on European 
questions in general. 

However, further developments did 
not follow the course laid down at 
Potsdam. The relations between the 
U.S.S.R. and the three western powers 
increasingly deteriorated and there was 
a growth of mutual distrust and sus¬ 
picion, which have now already 
developed into unfriendly relations. 

The Soviet government sincerely hoped 
that after the victorious war it would be 
quite possible, notwithstanding all the 
inevitability of ideological differences, to 
continue the fruitful co-operation among 
the great powers that headed the anti- 
Hitler coalition, on the basis of sober 
recognition of the situation created by 
the war. 

The policy of the western powers, 
however, was increasingly influenced by 
forces hating socialist and communist 
ideas, but concealing, during the war, 
their schemes hostile to the Soviet 
Union. As a result, a course was set in 
the West towards the utmost sharpen¬ 
ing of the ideological struggle headed 
by aggressive leaders, opponents of 
peaceful co-existence between states. The 
signal for this was given to the United 
States and other western countries by 
Winston Churchill in his notorious 
Fulton speech in March 1946. 

The conflict between two ideologies—a 
struggle of minds and convictions—in 
itself could not have done any special 


harm to the relations between states. The 
ideological struggle has never died down 
and it will continue, inasmuch as 
different views are held on the system of 
society. But the pronouncements of 
Winston Churchill and his associates 
unfortunately influenced the minds of 
other western statesmen, which had the 
most regrettable consequences. Govern¬ 
ment agencies and armed forces joined 
in the heated ideological struggle. The 
results are universally known: instead 
of an expansion of co-operation between 
the main great powers, the world was 
split into antagonistic military groupings 
and competition began in the manu¬ 
facture and stockpiling of atomic and 
hydrogen weapons—in other words, war 
preparations were launched. 

The Soviet government deeply regrets 
that events took such a turn, since this 
prejudices the cause of peace and is 
contrary to the natural desire of the 
peoples for peaceful co-existence and 
friendly co-operation. There was a time 
when leaders of the United States 
and the United Kingdom, and in parti¬ 
cular Franklin D. Roosevelt, the out¬ 
standing statesman of America, reflect¬ 
ing these sentiments of the mass of the 
people, proclaimed the necessity of set¬ 
ting up a system of mutual relations 
between states under which the peoples 
would feel secure and men and women 
everywhere could live all their lives 
knowing no fear. 

The relations of the United States, and 
also of the United Kingdom and France, 
with the Soviet Union took a particularly 
sharp turn when those powers began 
carrying through in Germany a policy 
contrary to the Potsdam Agreement. The 
first violation of the Potsdam Agreement 
was the refusal of the governments of 
the United States, the United Kingdom 
and France to honour their commitments 
under this agreement regarding the trans¬ 
fer to the Soviet Union of the agreed 
amount of industrial equipment from 
Western Germany as partial compensa¬ 
tion for the destruction and damage 
inflicted on the national economy of the 
U.S.S.R. by the aggression of Hitler 
Germany. 

But that was not all, and the govern- 


20 


ments of the United States and the 
United Kingdom, with every passing 
year, further abandoned the principles 
underlying the Potsdam Agreement. 

The same road was followed by 
France who, though she acceded to the 
Potsdam Agreement later, cannot, of 
course, disclaim her share of responsi¬ 
bility for the fulfilment of this agree¬ 
ment. 

Setting about the restoration of the 
military and economic potential of 
Western Germany, the western powers 
revived and strengthened the very forces 
that had forged the nazi war machine. 
Had the western powers honoured the 
Potsdam Agreement, they should have 
prevented the restoration of the positions 
of the German militarists, checked re¬ 
venge-seeking tendencies and not toler¬ 
ated the building up by Germany of an 
army and an industry for the manufac¬ 
ture of means of annihilation. It is, 
however, well known that the govern¬ 
ments of the three powers, far from do¬ 
ing this, on the contrary have sanctioned 
the setting up of a West German army 
and are encouraging the arming of the 
Federal Republic of Germany, disregard¬ 
ing the commitments assumed at Pots¬ 
dam. Furthermore, they have included 
Western Germany in the North Atlantic 
bloc, which was set up behind the Soviet 
Union’s back, and, as is clear to every¬ 
one, against the Soviet Union, and are 
now arming Western Germany with 
atomic and rocket weapons. 

It is evident that the bitter lessons of 
the murderous war have been lost on 
some western statesmen, who are again 
dragging into the light of day the notor¬ 
ious Munich policy of instigating Ger¬ 
man militarism against the Soviet Union, 
recently their comrade-in-arms. 

The legitimate question arises: Can 
those who have inspired the present 
policy of the western powers towards 
Germany themselves guarantee that Ger¬ 
man militarism, which they have nur¬ 
tured, will not attack its present partners 
again and that the American, British and 
French peoples will not have to pay with 
their blood for the violation by the 
governments of the three western powers 


of the Allied agreements on the develop¬ 
ment of Germany along a peaceloving 
and democratic road? Such a guarantee 
could scarcely be given by anyone. 

The policy of the United States, the 
United Kingdom and France towards 
Western Germany also led to a vio¬ 
lation of the provisions of the Potsdam 
agreements designed to ensure the unity 
of Germany as a peaceloving and demo¬ 
cratic state. And when a separate state 
—the Federal Republic of Germany— 
was set up in Western Germany, occu¬ 
pied by the troops of the three powers, 
Eastern Germany, where forces deter¬ 
mined to prevent the plunging of the 
German people into another catastrophe 
had assumed the leadership, had no alter¬ 
native but to create, in its turn, an inde¬ 
pendent state. 

Two states thus came into being in 
Germany. Whereas in Western Ger¬ 
many, whose development was directed 
by the United States, the United 
Kingdom and France, a government took 
office whose representatives do not con¬ 
ceal their hatred of the Soviet Union and 
often openly advertise the similarity of 
their aspirations with the plans of the 
nazi aggressors, in Eastern Germany a 
government was created which broke for¬ 
ever with Germany’s aggressive past. 
State and public affairs in the German 
Democratic Republic are regulated by 
a constitution that is fully in keeping 
with the principles of the Potsdam Agree¬ 
ment and the finest progressive traditions 
of the German people. The domination 
of the monopolies and junkers was 
abolished for ever in the German Demo¬ 
cratic Republic, nazism was extirpated, 
and a number of other social and econ¬ 
omic transformations were carried out 
which prevented the possibility of a re¬ 
vival of militarism and made the German 
Democratic Republic an important factor 
for peace in Europe. The government 
of the German Democratic Republic 
solemnly proclaimed that it would fulfil 
its commitments under the Potsdam 
Agreement to the letter, which, by the 
way, the government of the Federal 
Republic of Germany is obstinately 
avoiding doing. The inclusion of the 


21 


Federal Republic of Germany in the 
North Atlantic bloc impelled the Soviet 
Union to take retaliatory measures, since 
the obligations binding the Soviet Union, 
the United States, the United Kingdom 
and France, had been broken by the 
three western powers who had united with 
Western Germany, and previously with 
Italy, against the Soviet Union, which 
had borne the brunt of the struggle 
against the fascist aggressors. This 
restricted military grouping likewise 
created a threat to other countries. Such 
a situation impelled the Soviet Union 
and a number of other European 
countries that had suffered from aggres¬ 
sion by German and Italian fascism, to 
establish their own defensive organisa¬ 
tion, concluding for this purpose the 
Warsaw Treaty, to which the German 
Democratic Republic also acceded. 

There is only one conclusion to be 
drawn from the foregoing: The Potsdam 
Agreement has been grossly violated by 
the western powers. It looks now like 
the trunk of a tree, once mighty and 
fruit-bearing, but now mangled and with 
its core cut out. The lofty aims for 
which the Potsdam Agreement was con¬ 
cluded, have long since been thrown 
away by the western powers, and their 
practical activity in Germany is diametri¬ 
cally opposed to what the Potsdam 
Agreement envisaged. 

The crux of the matter is not, of 
course, that the social and political 
systems of the German Democratic 
Republic and the Federal Republic of 
Germany are basically different. The 
Soviet government considers that the 
settlement of the question of the social 
structure of the two German states is the 
concern of the Germans themselves. The 
Soviet Union stands for complete non¬ 
interference in the internal affairs of the 
German people, just as in those of any 
other people. But the advance of the 
German Democratic Republic towards 
socialism has given rise to the Federal 
government’s ill-feeling and even com¬ 
pletely hostile attitude towards it, which 
is entirely supported and encouraged by 
the N.A.T.O. countries and, above all, by 
the United States. Prodded on by the 
western powers, the government of the 
Federal Republic of Germany is sys¬ 


tematically fomenting the “ cold war ” 
and its leaders have repeatedly made 
statements to the effect that the Federal 
Republic will pursue a “ policy of 
strength,” that is to say, a policy of 
dictating to the other German state. It 
follows that the government of the 
Federal Republic of Germany does not 
want the peaceful unification of the 
German people, who are living in two 
states under two different social systems, 
but nurtures plans for the abolition of 
the German Democratic Republic and 
for strengthening its own militarist state 
at the expense of the G.D.R. 

The Soviet government fully sympa¬ 
thises with the position of the German 
Democratic Republic, which does not 
want to see the German working people’s 
democratic and social gains destroyed, 
capitalist ownership and landlordism 
restored, the land, mills and factories 
taken away from the people and a 
militarist regime extended to the German 
Democratic Republic. The elections to 
the People’s Chamber, and the local 
government elections which were held in 
the German Democratic Republic a few 
days ago, are yet another striking indica¬ 
tion that the population of the German 
Democratic Republic is overwhelmingly 
behind the policy of its government, 
which aims at strengthening peace and 
reuniting Germany by peaceful and 
democratic means, but which is deter¬ 
mined to defend its socialist gains. The 
Soviet Union expresses its complete 
solidarity with the German Democratic 
Republic, which is firmly defending its 
legal rights. 

If the truth is to be faced, it must be 
recognised, too, that other countries are 
far from supporting the plans of the 
government of the Federal Republic of 
Germany for the forcible reunification of 
Germany. And this can be understood, 
since the peoples, including those of 
France and Britain, are still smarting 
from the wounds inflicted on them by 
Hitler Germany. The scars of the last 
war, which swept the towns and villages 
of France, are far from having healed. 
Nor has the damage done to the capital 
and many cities of Britain by Nazi air¬ 
raids yet been made good, while millions 
of Englishmen are unable to forget the 


22 


tragic fate of Coventry. This feeling can 
also be understood by those peoples who 
fell victim to occupation by the Hitler 
army. They lost millions who were killed 
or tortured to death, and saw on their 
own soil thousands of towns destroyed 
and villages burnt. The Soviet people 
will never forget what happened to 
Stalingrad, nor will the Poles ever forget 
the fate of Warsaw or the Czechoslovak 
people that of Lidice. American families, 
too, had to taste the bitterness of bereave¬ 
ment, the loss of their kith and kin. 
Germany started both world wars and on 
both occasions she drew in the United 
States of America, whose sons had to 
shed their blood in lands thousands of 
miles away from American shores. 

Mindful of all this, the peoples cannot, 
nor will they, permit Germany to be 
united on the basis of a militarist state. 

There is another programme for 
uniting Germany, one which is put for¬ 
ward by the German Democratic Repub¬ 
lic. This is a programme for uniting 
Germany as a peaceloving and demo¬ 
cratic state, and it cannot fail to be 
welcomed by the peoples. There is only 
one way of carrying it out. And that 
is through agreement and contacts 
betwe'en the two German states, and 
through the setting up of a German 
Confederation. This proposal, if carried 
out, would channel the efforts of the two 
governments and parliaments into a com¬ 
mon route of peaceful policy, and would 
ensure a gradual coming together and 
merging of the two German states— 
without affecting the social bases of 
either the German Democratic Republic 
or the Federal Republic of Germany. 

The Soviet Union, like other countries 
concerned to strengthen peace in Europe, 
supports the proposals of the German 
Democratic Republic for the peaceful 
unification of Germany. The govern¬ 
ment of the U.S.S.R. is sorry to note 
that none of the efforts made in this 
direction have so far produced any posi¬ 
tive result, since the governments of the 
United States and the other N.A.T.O. 
countries—and, above all, the govern¬ 
ment of the Federal Republic of Ger¬ 
many—are, in point of fact, doing 
nothing towards the conclusion of a 
peace treaty, or the uniting of Germany. 


Consequently, the policies of the 
United States, the United Kingdom and 
France, directed as they are towards the 
militarisation of Western Germany and 
involving her in the military bloc of the 
western powers, have prevented the en¬ 
forcement of those provisions of the 
Potsdam Agreement which deal with 
German unity. 

Of all the Allied agreements on 
Germany, there is, in fact, only one 
which is being complied with today. That 
is the agreement on what is known as the 
quadripartite status of Berlin. Basing 
themselves on this status, the three 
western powers rule the roost in West 
Berlin, making it a sort of state within a 
state, and using it as a centre from 
which to pursue subversive activity 
against the German Democratic Republic, 
the Soviet Union and the other parties to 
the Warsaw Treaty. The United States, 
Britain and France communicate freely 
with West Berlin along lines of communi¬ 
cation passing through the territory and 
the air space of the German Democratic 
Republic, which they are not even pre¬ 
pared to recognise. 

The governments of the three powers 
seek to retain in force a long since 
obsolete section of the wartime agree¬ 
ments which governed the occupation of 
Germany and which entitled them in the 
past to remain in Berlin. At the same 
time, as has been said, the western 
powers have grossly violated the quadri¬ 
partite agreements, including the Potsdam 
Agreement, which is the most concise ex¬ 
pression of the obligations of the powers 
with respect to Germany. Nevertheless, 
the other four-power agreements on the 
occupation of Germany, which the 
governments of the United States, the 
United Kingdom and France invoke in 
justification of their rights in West 
Berlin, were approved under the Potsdam 
Agreement or concluded in amplification 
thereof. In other words, the three powers 
demand the preservation, for their own 
purposes, of occupation privileges based 
on the quadripartite agreements—agree¬ 
ments which they have flouted. 

If the United States, Britain and France 
are indeed staying in Berlin in exercise of 
the rights stemming from these interna- 


23 



tional agreements and, above all, from 
the Potsdam Agreement, then this implies 
their duty to abide by those agreements. 
They who have grossly violated those 
agreements have lost all right to retain 
their occupation regimes in Berlin or in 
any other part of Germany. Furthermore, 
is it really possible to insist on the occu¬ 
pation regimes being maintained in Ger¬ 
many or in any part of Germany more 
than 13 years after the end of the war? 
For every occupation is an event of 
limited duration, which fact is explicitly 
stipulated in the quadripartite agreements 
on Germany. 

It is well known that the conventional 
way of ending occupation is for the 
parties which were at war with each other 
to conclude a peace treaty, offering the 
defeated country the conditions necessary 
for the normalisation of its life. 

The fact that Germany still has no 
peace treaty is, above all, the fault of 
the governments of the United States, the 
United Kingdom and France, which 
have never seemed to like the idea of 
drafting such a treaty. 

It is well known that the governments 
of the three powers have reacted nega¬ 
tively to every approach the Soviet 
government has made to them for the 
preparation of a peace treaty with 
Germany. 

At the moment, the United States, the 
United Kingdom and France—as follows 
from their Notes of September 30 last— 
are opposed to the latest proposals for a 
peaceful settlement with Germany, put 
forward by the Soviet Union and the 
German Democratic Republic, while 
making no proposals of their own on 
this subject, just as they have made none 
at any time during the postwar period. In 
point of fact, the recent Note of the 
United States government is a restate¬ 
ment of a position shown to be utterly 
unrealistic, whereby Germany’s national 
unity would be re-established by the 
U.S.S.R., the United States, Britain and 
France, instead of by the German states 
which are to unite. Another fact revealed 
by the United States government’s Note 
is that it is once again avoiding negotia¬ 
tions with the Soviet Union and the other 
interested countries for the drafting of a 


peace treaty with Germany. The result 
really is a vicious circle: The government 
of the United States objects to the draft¬ 
ing of a German peace treaty on the 
grounds of the absence of a united Ger¬ 
man state—while, at the same time, it 
hampers the reunification of Germany by 
rejecting the only feasible chance of 
solving this problem through agreement 
between the two German states. 

Are not the western powers sticking to 
this line on the preparation of a peace 
treaty so as to preserve their privileges 
in Western Germany and to maintain the 
occupation regime in West Berlin 
interminably? 

It is becoming increasingly clear that 
this is precisely the situation. 

The Soviet government reaffirms its 
readiness to take part at any time in ne¬ 
gotiations for the drafting of a peace 
treaty with Germany. However, the 
absence of a peace treaty can by no 
means be used as an excuse for an 
attempt to maintain the occupation 
regime anywhere in Germany. 

The occupation of Germany has long 
since become a thing of the past, and any 
attempts to prevent the disappearance of 
special rights of foreign powers in Ger¬ 
many are becoming a dangerous anachro¬ 
nism. The occupation regime in Germany 
has never been an end in itself. It was 
established so as to help the healthy 
forces of the German nation to build 
their own new peaceloving and demo¬ 
cratic state, on the ruins of militarist 
Germany. 

Anxious to live in peace and friendship 
with the whole German people, the 
Soviet Union has established and is 
maintaining normal diplomatic relations 
with both German states. It maintains 
close friendly relations with the German 
Democratic Republic. These relations 
have been anchored in the treaty which 
the Soviet Union and the German Demo¬ 
cratic Republic concluded on September 
20, 1955. In conformity with that treaty, 
relations between the two states are 
based on the principles of complete 
equality, respect for each other’s sover¬ 
eignty and non-interference in one 
another’s domestic affairs. These, too, 
are the principles by which the Soviet 


24 



government is guided in its relations with 
the other German state—the Federal 
Republic of Germany. 

The governments of the United States, 
the United Kingdom and France an¬ 
nounced the end of their occupation 
regime in the territory of the Federal 
Republic of Germany, which had been 
under their control and administration, 
when they signed the Paris agreements. 

The quadripartite status of Berlin came 
into being because Berlin, as the capital 
of Germany, was to be the seat of the 
Control Council established to run Ger¬ 
many in the first period of occupation. 
This status has been scrupulously ob¬ 
served by the Soviet Union until the 
present, although the Control Council 
ceased to exist as long as ten years ago, 
and there have long since been two 
capitals in Germany. The United States, 
Britain and France, on the other hand, 
have chosen to abuse in a blatant fashion 
their occupation rights in Berlin, using 
the quadripartite status of Berlin to 
pursue their own objective of damaging 
the Soviet Union, the German Demo¬ 
cratic Republic and the other socialist 
countries. 

The agreement on the quadripartite 
status of Berlin was once an equal agree¬ 
ment concluded by the four powers for 
peaceful and democratic goals which 
were later to become known as the Pots¬ 
dam principles. At that time this agree¬ 
ment was in accordance with the exigen¬ 
cies of the day and with the interests of 
all the signatories—the U.S.S.R., the 
United States, Britain and France. Now 
that the western powers have begun to 
arm Western Germany and turn her into 
an instrument of their policy, spearheaded 
against the Soviet Union, the very 
essence of the allied agreement on Berlin 
has vanished. It has been violated by 
three of its signatories, who have been 
using this agreement against the fourth 
signatory, the Soviet Union. This being 
the situation, it would be ridiculous to 
expect the Soviet Union or any other 
self-respecting state to pretend to ignore 
the changes which have taken place. 

A patently absurd situation has arisen, 
therefore, in which the Soviet Union 


supports and maintains, as it were, 
favourable conditions for activity by the 
western powers directed against the 
U.S.S.R. and its Warsaw Treaty allies. 
It is clearly obvious that the Soviet 
Union, and the other parties to the War¬ 
saw Treaty, can no longer tolerate this 
state of affairs. For the occupation 
regime in West Berlin to continue would 
be tantamount to recognising something 
like a privileged position for the 
N.A.T.O. countries, a privileged position 
for which, of course, there is no justifi¬ 
cation. 

Can anyone really seriously believe 
that the Soviet Union will help the forces 
of aggression to develop subversive acti¬ 
vities against the socialist countries, let 
alone to prepare an attack on them? It 
must be clear to everyone of sound mind 
that the Soviet Union cannot maintain 
a situation in West Berlin which is detri¬ 
mental to its legitimate interests, to its 
security and to the security of the other 
socialist countries. It would be well to 
remember that the Soviet Union is not 
a Jordan or an Iran, and that it will 
never allow methods of pressure to be 
applied to it, in order to force on it 
conditions suiting the powers belonging 
to the opposing N.A.T.O. military bloc. 
But this is just what the western powers 
want from the Soviet Union, since they 
seek to retain their occupation rights in 
West Berlin. 

Can the Soviet government afford to 
disregard all these facts, which affect the 
basic security interests of the Soviet 
Union, and its ally, the German Demo¬ 
cratic Republic, and of all the signatories 
of the Warsaw Defence Treaty ? 
Why, of course not! The Soviet govern¬ 
ment can no longer consider itself bound 
by that part of the Allied agreements on 
Germany which has assumed an unequal 
character and is being used for the main¬ 
tenance of the occupation regime in West 
Berlin and for interference in the domes¬ 
tic affairs iof the German Democratic 
Republic. 

In view of this, the government of the 
U.S.S.R. hereby notifies the government 
of the United States that the Soviet 
Union regards as null and void the “Pro- 


25 





tocol of the Agreement between the 
Governments of the Union of Soviet 
Socialist Republics, the United States of 
America and the United Kingdom, on 
the Occupation Zones of Germany and 
on the Administration of Greater Berlin.” 
dated September 12, 1944; and the asso¬ 
ciated supplementary agreements, includ¬ 
ing the Agreement on the Control Mech¬ 
anism in Germany concluded between 
the governments of the U.S.S.R., the 
United States, the United Kingdom and 
France on May 1, 1945—that is, to say, 
the agreements which were to be effective 
during the first years following the sur¬ 
render of Germany. 

It is not difficult to see that all the 
Soviet government has done by this state¬ 
ment is to acknowledge the real state of 
affairs, which rests in the fact that the 
United States, Britain and France have 
long since abandoned the essentials of 
the treaties and agreements concluded 
during the war against Hitler Germany 
and following her defeat. The Soviet 
government is doing no more than draw¬ 
ing conclusions which, the Soviet Union 
finds, follow inevitably from the actual 
state of affairs. In connection with the 
foregoing, and also proceeding from the 
principles of respect for the sovereignty 
of the German Democratic Republic, the 
Soviet government will enter into negoti¬ 
ations with the government of the Ger¬ 
man Democratic Republic at an appro¬ 
priate moment with a view to transfer¬ 
ring to the German Democratic Repub¬ 
lic the functions which the Soviet authori¬ 
ties have exercised temporarily in accord¬ 
ance with these Allied agreements, and 
also in accordance with the agreement 
between the U.S.S.R. and the German 
Democratic Republic of September 20, 
1955. 

The best way to solve the Berlin 
question would be for a decision to 
be taken, based on the enforcement of 
the Potsdam Agreement on Germany. 
But this would be possible only if the 
three western powers resumed, in com¬ 
mon with the U.S.S.R., a policy towards 
Germany which would accord with the 
spirit and the principles of the Potsdam 
Agreement. In the present circumstances, 
this Would mean the withdrawal of the 


Federal Republic of Germany from 
N.A.T.O., with the simultaneous with¬ 
drawal of the German Democratic 
Republic from the Warsaw Treaty 
Organisation, and the achievement of an 
agreement whereby, in accordance with 
the principles of the Potsdam Agreement, 
neither of the two German states would 
have any armed forces in excess of those 
needed to maintain law and order at 
home and to guard their frontiers. 

If the government of the United States 
of America is unwilling to contribute in 
this way to the implementation of the 
basic political principles of the Allied 
agreements on Germany, it can have no 
reason, either legal or moral, for insist¬ 
ing on the preservation of the quad¬ 
ripartite status of Berlin. 

There may, of course, be some ill- 
wishers of the Soviet Union who will try 
to read an urge for some sort of annexa¬ 
tion into the Soviet government’s position 
with regard to the occupation regime in 
Berlin. Such an interpretation would not, 
of course, have anything in common with 
real facts. The Soviet Union, like the 
other socialist countries, makes no 
territorial claims. It is guided undeviat- 
ingly in its policy by the principle of 
denouncing annexation, that is to say, the 
grabbing of other peoples’ lands and the 
subjugation of other peoples. This prin¬ 
ciple was proclaimed by Lenin, the 
founder of the Soviet state, in the very 
first days of Soviet government in Russia. 

The U.S.S.R. does not seek any con¬ 
quests. All it wants is to put an end 
to the abnormal and dangerous situation 
which has developed in Berlin because 
of the continued occupation of its 
western sectors by the United States, 
the United Kingdom and France. 

An independent solution to the Berlin 
problem must be found in the very 
near future, since the western powers are 
refusing to take part in the drafting of a 
peace treaty with Germany, and the 
government of the Federal Republic of 
Germany, supported by the same powers, 
is pursuing a policy of obstructing Ger¬ 
many’s unification. It is necessary to pre¬ 
vent West Berlin from being used 
any longer for intensified espionage, 
wrecking or any other subversive 


26 


activities against the socialist countries, 
against the German Democratic Repub¬ 
lic, the U.S.S.R., or, to quote the leaders 
of the United States government, to pre¬ 
vent it from being used for “indirect 
aggression” against the countries of the 
socialist camp. 

Essentially speaking, the only interest 
the United States, the United Kingdom 
and France have in West Berlin consists 
in using this “ frontline city,” as it is 
vociferously called in the West, as a van¬ 
tage point from which to carry on hostile 
activity against the socialist countries. 
This is the only benefit the western 
powers are deriving from their presence 
in Berlin as occupationists. The ending 
of the legally unjustified occupation of 
West Berlin would do no harm either to 
the United States, or to the United 
Kingdom, or to France. It would, on the 
other hand, go far towards improving 
the international atmosphere in Europe 
and setting people’s minds at rest in all 
countries. 

Conversely, the only conclusion one 
can draw from the western powers 
persisting in preserving their occupation 
of West Berlin is that “indirect aggres¬ 
sion ” against the German Democratic 
Republic and the Soviet Union is not the 
only aim they are pursuing, and that 
there must be some plans for a yet more 
dangerous use of West Berlin. 

The Soviet government makes this 
appeal to the government of the United 
States, proceeding from its determination 
to secure a relaxation of international 
tension; to put an end to the state of 
“ cold war ” and to clear the way for 
the re-establishment of good relations 
between the Soviet Union and the United 
States, and also with the United Kingdom 
and France; to put out of the way every¬ 
thing which brings our countries into 
conflict and sets them at loggerheads, 
and to reduce the causes which give rise 
to these conflicts. Indeed, one cannot 
get away from the fact that West Berlin, 
with its present status, is just such a 
source of discord and suspicion between 
our countries. 

The most correct and natural way to 
solve the problem would, of course, be 


for the western part of Berlin, which is 
virtually detached from the German 
Democratic Republic, to be reunited 
with its eastern part and for Berlin to 
become a single united city within the 
state on whose land it is situated. 

However, the Soviet government, tak¬ 
ing into account the present unrealistic 
policy of the United States, and also of 
the United Kingdom and France, with 
regard to the German Democratic 
Republic, cannot fail to see the difficul¬ 
ties the western powers have in con¬ 
tributing to such a solution of the 
Berlin problem. At the same time it is 
guided by concern to prevent the 
process of abolishing the occupation 
regime from involving anything like a 
painful disruption of the ways which 
have become entrenched in the life of 
the population of West Berlin. 

One cannot, of course, fail to take 
into account the fact that the political 
and economic development of West 
Berlin, during its occupation by the 
three western powers, has differed from 
that of East Berlin and the German 
Democratic Republic, with the result 
that the way of life in the two parts of 
Berlin is entirely different at the present 
time. The Soviet government considers 
that upon the ending of foreign occupa¬ 
tion, the population of West Berlin 
should be given the right to establish a 
way of life of its own choosing. Should 
the inhabitants of West Berlin desire to 
preserve the present way of life, based 
on private capitalist ownership, it is up 
to them to do so. The U.S.S.R., for its 
part, will respect any choice the West 
Berliners may make. 

On the strength of all these considera¬ 
tions, the Soviet government finds it 
possible for the question of West Berlin 
to be settled for the time being by mak¬ 
ing West Berlin an independent political 
entity—a free city—without any state, 
including either of the existing German 
states, interfering in its life. It might be 
possible, in particular, to agree on the 
territory of the free city being demili¬ 
tarised and having no armed forces on 
it. The free city of West Berlin could 
have its own government and could run 


27 


its own economy and its administrative 
and other affairs. 

The four powers, which shared in the 
administration of Berlin after the war, 
could, as could the two German 
states, undertake to respect the status of 
West Berlin as a free city, just as has 
been done by the four powers, for in¬ 
stance, with regard to the neutral status 
which has been adopted by the Austrian 
Republic. 

For its part, the Soviet government 
would have no objection to the United 
Nations also sharing, in one way or 
another, in observing the free-city 
status of West Berlin. 

It is obvious that, taking into con¬ 
sideration the special position of West 
Berlin, which lies in the territory of the 
German Democratic Republic and is 
cut off from the outside world, the 
question would arise of some kind 
of arrangement with the German 
Democratic Republic concerning 
guarantees of unhindered communica¬ 
tions between the free city and the out¬ 
side world — both eastward and west¬ 
ward—with the aim of free movement 
for passenger and freight traffic. In its 
turn, West Berlin would commit itself 
not to tolerate on its territory hostile 
subversive activity directed against the 
German Democratic Republic or any 
other state. That solution to the problem 
of the status of West Berlin would be an 
important step towards normalising the 
situation in Berlin, which, instead of 
being a hotbed of unrest and tension, 
could become a centre for contacts and 
co-operation between the two parts of 
Germany in the interests of Germany’s 
peaceful future and the unity of the 
German nation. 

The establishment of the status of a 
free city for West Berlin would make it 
possible to safeguard firmly the ex¬ 
pansion of the economy of West Berlin, 
owing to its all-sided contacts with the 
eastern and western countries, and 
proper living standards for the popula¬ 
tion of the city. For its part, the Soviet 
Union declares that it will do its utmost 
to promote the attainment of these aims, 
especially by placing orders for an 
amount of manufactured goods that will 


fully ensure the stability and prosperity 
of the economy of the free city and also 
by regular systematic supplies of the 
necessary raw materials and foodstuffs 
to West Berlin on a commercial basis. 
Thus, West Berlin’s population of over 
two million, far from suffering from 
the abolition of the occupation regime, 
would, on the contrary, have every 
possibility of raising their living 
standards. 

If the government of the United 
States, as well as the governments of the 
United Kingdom and France, expresses 
its consent to examine the question of 
abolishing the present occupation regime 
in West Berlin by setting up a free city 
on its territory, the Soviet government 
would be willing, on behalf of the four 
powers, to enter into official contact on 
this question with the government of 
the German Democratic Republic, with 
which it has already held preliminary 
consultations before the despatch of the 
present Note. 

It should, of course, be borne in mind 
that the consent of the German Demo¬ 
cratic Republic to the setting up of such 
an independent political organism as the 
free city of West Berlin within its 
territory would be a concession, a 
definite sacrifice by the German Demo¬ 
cratic Republic for the sake of 
strengthening peace in Europe, for the 
sake of the national interests of the 
German people as a whole. 

The Soviet government, for its part, 
has resolved to carry out measures 
designed to abolish the occupation 
regime in Berlin, guided by the desire to 
normalise the situation in Berlin, in the 
interests of European peace, and in the 
interests of the peaceful and indepen¬ 
dent development of Germany. It hopes 
that the government of the United 
States will show a proper understanding 
of these motives and adopt a realistic 
attitude on the Berlin issue. 

At the same time the Soviet govern¬ 
ment is ready to open negotiations with 
the governments of the United States 
and other countries concerned, on grant¬ 
ing West Berlin the status of a demili¬ 
tarised free city. If this proposal is not 
acceptable to the United States govern- 


28 


ment, there is no topic left for talks on 
the Berlin question by the former 
occupying powers. 

The Soviet government strives for the 
necessary changes in the position of 
Berlin to be made in a calm atmosphere, 
without haste and unnecessary friction, 
with the maximum account being taken 
of the interests of the sides concerned. 

It is obvious that some time is needed 
for the powers that occupied Germany 
after the defeat of the nazi Wehrmacht 
to agree on proclaiming West Berlin a 
free city, provided, of course, that the 
western powers take a proper interest in 
this proposal. It should also be taken 
into consideration that the necessity may 
arise of talks between the city autho¬ 
rities of both parts of Berlin and also 
between the German Democratic 
Republic and the Federal Republic of 
Germany for a settlement of the issues 
that may arise. 

In view of this the Soviet government 
proposes to make no changes in the 
present procedure for military traffic of 
the United States, the United Kingdom 
and France from West Berlin to the 
Federal Republic of Germany for half a 
year. It regards this period as quite 
adequate for finding a sound basis 
for a solution to the problems connected 
with the change in the position of 
Berlin and for preventing the possibility 
of any complications if, of course, the 
governments of the western powers do 
not deliberately work for such compli¬ 
cations. 

During this period the sides will have 
the possibility of proving, by settling the 
Berlin issue, their desire for a relaxation 
of international tension. 

If the above period is not used for 
reaching an appropriate agreement, the 
Soviet Union will effect the planned 
measures by agreement with the German 
Democratic Republic. 

It is envisaged that the German Demo¬ 
cratic Republic, like any other indepen¬ 
dent state, must fully control questions 
concerning its space, that is to say, 
exercise its sovereignty on land, on water 
and in the air. At the same time there 
will be an end to all the contacts still 
maintained between representatives of 


the armed forces and other officials of 
the Soviet Union in Germany and corre¬ 
sponding representatives of the armed 
forces and other officials of the United 
States, the United Kingdom and France 
on questions relating to Berlin. 

Voices are being raised in the capitals 
of some western powers claiming that 
these powers do not recognise the Soviet 
Union’s decision to discard the functions 
of maintaining the occupation status in 
Berlin. How can such a question be 
raised? Anyone who today speaks of 
non-recognition of the steps planned by 
the Soviet Union would obviously like 
to speak to it, not in the language of 
reason and well-founded argument, but in 
the language of brute force, forgetting 
that the Soviet people are not affected by 
threats or intimidation. If, behind the 
word “ non-recognition,” there really 
lies the intention to resort to force and 
draw the world into a war over Berlin, 
the advocates of such a policy should 
take into consideration the fact that they 
are assuming a very grave responsibility 
before the peoples and before history 
for all the consequences of that policy. 

Anyone who brandishes weapons in 
connection with the situation in Berlin 
once again exposes his interest in main¬ 
taining the occupation regime in Berlin 
for aggressive purposes. The government 
of the Soviet Union would like to hope 
that the problem of normalising the 
situation in Berlin, which life itself 
raises before our states as an imperative 
necessity, will in any case be solved in 
accordance with the considerations of 
statesmanship, in the interests of peace 
among the peoples, without any un¬ 
necessary tension or aggravation of the 
“ cold war.” 

Methods of blackmail and reckless 
threats of force are least of all opportune 
in solving such a problem as the Berlin 
issue. Such methods will not help to 
settle a single question; they can only 
aggravate the situation to danger point. 
Only madmen, however, can go to the 
length of unleashing another world war 
over the preservation of the privileges of 
occupationists in West Berlin. If such 
madmen should really come to the fore, 


29 


there is no doubt that strait-jackets 
could be found for them. 

If the statesmen responsible for the 
policy of the western powers are guided 
in their approach to the Berlin question, 
as well as other international problems, 
by hatred of communism, of the 
socialist countries, no good will come 
of this. 

Neither the Soviet Union nor any 
other socialist state can deny its existence 
precisely as a socialist state, nor are 
these states going to do so. That is why, 
having united in an unbreakable fraternal 
alliance, they take a firm stand in 
defence of their rights and their state 
frontiers, acting according to the 
motto, “ Each for all, and all for each.” 
Any violation of the frontiers of the 
German Democratic Republic, Poland, or 
Czechoslovakia, any aggressive action 
against any state that is a party to the 
Warsaw Treaty, will be regarded by all 
its signatories as an act of aggression 
against all of them and will immediately 
result in appropriate retaliation. 

The Soviet government believes that it 
would be sensible to recognise the situa¬ 
tion existing in the world and to create 


normal relations for co-existence between 
all states, to expand world trade, to build 
the relations between our countries on 
the basis of the well-known principles of 
mutual respect for one another’s 
sovereignty and territorial integrity, non¬ 
aggression, non - interference in one 
another’s internal affairs, equality and 
mutual benefit. 

The Soviet Union, its people and its 
government are sincerely striving for the 
restoration of good relations with the 
United States of America—relations 
based on trust, which are quite feasible, 
as has been shown by the experience of 
the joint struggle against the Hitler 
aggressors and which, in peacetime, 
would offer our countries nothing 
but the advantages of mutually-enriched 
spiritual and material co-operation 
between our peoples, and would offer all 
other men and women the blessing of a 
tranquil life in conditions of lasting peace. 
Copies of the Soviet government’s Note to 
the government of the United States have 
been sent to the governments of all states 
with which the Soviet Union maintains 
diplomatic relations and also the govern¬ 
ments of other members of the United 
Nations. 


N. S. KHRUSHCHOV’S PRESS 
CONFERENCE 


N. S. Khrushchov, Chairman of tfee U.S.S.M. Connell of Ministers, held a 
press conference in the Kremlin on November 27, 1958. The following is 
the transcript of the press conference : 


A. A. Gromyko: Allow me to declare the 
press conference open. Chairman of the 
Council of Ministers of the U.S.S.R. 
Nikita Khrushchov has the floor. 

N. S. Khrushchov: I asked the Minister 
of Foreign Affairs of the U.S.S.R., before 
handing over for publication the texts of 
our Notes on the Berlin question—which 
were forwarded earlier today to the 
governments of the United States of 
America, Britain, France, the German 
Democratic Republic and the Federal 
Republic of Germany—to acquaint the 
correspondents with these documents so 


that they could, after reading the Soviet 
government’s Notes prepare the questions 
they would like to put. 

Pravda correspondent P. Naumov: Why 
has the Soviet government chosen this 
particular moment to suggest the ending 
of the occupation status of Berlin? What 
is the purpose of the Soviet government’s 
step towards changing the status of West 
Berlin? 

N. S. Khrushchov: I shall try to answer 
this question. You are asking why the 
question of ending the occupation status 
of Berlin has arisen, and why has it 


30 


become necessary to settle this question 
at this particular moment? 

This is explained by the particular re¬ 
lations which have developed between 
the great powers or, as the press would 
say, between the West and the East. 

We have taken many steps towards 
relieving the tension in international 
relations, developing normal relations 
between states, ensuring peaceful co¬ 
existence and solving whatever differences 
may arise by peaceful means, without 
allowing conflicts to arise. We have taken 
quite a few measures to find methods of 
approach to this problem, that is to say, 
towards the establishment of a normal 
situation throughout the world and, above 
all, in Europe, towards ensuring under¬ 
standing and peace among the states 
which fought against nazi Germany. And 
enough time—more than 13 years—has 
passed since the war. 

The obstacle to the conclusion of a 
peace treaty with Germany, as is shown 
by the attitude of representatives of the 
western powers, and in particular of 
Western Germany, consists in their un¬ 
willingness to recognise realities of life. 

And these realities consist in the fact 
that there are two German states in 
existence—the Federal Republic of Ger¬ 
many, which bases its existence on the 
principle of private capitalist ownership, 
and the German Democratic Republic, 
which is growing and developing on a 
socialist basis and moving in the direction 
of socialism. 

To accept this reasoning which is often 
referred to in the West as plausible, this 
situation would have to be maintained for 
ever. Indeed, the German Democratic 
Republic would hardly be able to per¬ 
suade Herr Adenauer and his government 
that Western Germany should adopt a 
socialist trend in its political activity. That 
would, of course, be desirable both for 
the Germans of the German Democratic 
Republic and for many of the Germans 
in Western Germany, as well as for all 
progressive mankind, and we, as com¬ 
munists, would welcome this very much. 

But to think that Herr Adenauer and 
the ruling circles of Western Germany 


will agree to this would mean indulging 
in wishful thinking. 

On the other hand, certain circles in 
Western Germany and, to my regret. 
Chancellor Adenauer and others, do in¬ 
dulge in this sort of wishful thinking, as 
they are hoping, for some reason or 
other, to get the German Democratic 
Republic to renounce its socialist system 
and adopt a capitalist system. This, they 
say, would be the basis for the “ reunifi¬ 
cation ” of Germany, that is to say, for 
the monopoly circles of Western Ger¬ 
many to absorb the German Democratic 
Republic and thus create a united Ger¬ 
many on the social basis of Western 
Germany. Not until after this will it 
become possible, in their opinion, to con¬ 
clude a peace treaty. 

Are these hopes realistic? Of course 
not. They must be described as fantastic, 
since the working people of the German 
Democratic Republic will never agree to 
give up their social and political gains in 
favour of exploiters and monopolists. 

So what is to be done? 

One must proceed from the real facts. 
There is a divided Berlin where the occu¬ 
pation regime is still maintained. The 
war ended more than 13 years ago. Every 
normal person, I think, finds such a 
situation abnormal. It is necessary, there¬ 
fore, to find a solution that will end this 
abnormality, because the present exist¬ 
ence of the occupation regime serves no 
positive purpose at all. 

The perpetuation of such a situation 
would be to the advantage only of a 
party pursuing aggressive aims. 

To the western powers West Berlin is 
a convenient place for conducting an 
aggressive policy against the German 
Democratic Republic, and against the 
Soviet Union and other countries of the 
socialist camp. In view of a certain 
policy of the western powers, whipping 
up revengeful sentiments in Western 
Germany and encouraging the revival of 
reactionary fascist organisations and 
forces there, West Berlin has become a 
kind of cancerous tumour. And if it is 
not eliminated this will create a danger 
that might lead to quite undesirable con¬ 
sequences. It is precisely because of this 
that we have decided to perform a surgi¬ 
cal operation, to terminate the occupation 
status of Berlin and create conditions 
that will help to normalise relations be- 


31 


tween the great powers of the former 
anti-Hitler coalition. 

We want to establish a normal atmo¬ 
sphere, normal conditions, in which the 
relations between our countries will 
become what they were during the war 
against Hitler Germany. We are con¬ 
vinced that all peoples who stand for 
ending the “ cold war,” for establishing 
normal conditions in relations between 
countries, for assuring the peaceful co¬ 
existence of countries, irrespective of 
their systems, for eliminating friction and 
conflicts between countries—all these 
people will welcome the Soviet Union’s 
proposals for the solution of the Berlin 
problem. 

At the same time, we realise perfectly 
well that certain circles who are in favour 
of the “ cold war ” continuing, stand for 
utilising West Berlin as a centre of dis¬ 
putes for kindling a hot war. These 
circles will naturally be displeased with 
our peaceful proposals and will resist 
them. But we are convinced that such 
people are in the minority in the world. 
The overwhelming majority of people 
want peace in the world and therefore 
we count on the support of these people. 

United Press International correspondent 
H. Shapiro: Would it be correct to infer 
from the Soviet Note that for half a 
year the Soviet Union would not take 
any steps changing the regime existing in 
Berlin at the present time? 

Khrushchov: I think that you are right 
in your conclusion that in the course of 
the period announced, that is to say, for 
six months, we shall not alter the con¬ 
ditions which have already come into 
being in Berlin, although we regard them 
as abnormal. But we should like to 
eliminate even these abnormal conditions 
in a normal way, that is to say, by means 
of agreement. 

In eliminating the abnormal situation 
we do not want to worsen in any way 
the relations between the peoples. By 
means of an agreement we want to create 
normal conditions which would help to 
promote a friendly atmosphere in the 
relations among all states. I am saying 
this, naturally, with one reservation: We 
shall observe, throughout the period 
stated, the norms established by the 
occupation regime, on condition that 
other countries do not take provocative 
steps endangering the cause of peace. 

I believe there is nothing left to say on 


this question. 

France Presse correspondent K. Zam- 
ekau: Berlin is known to be the capital 
of the German Democratic Republic. 
Why then, in spite of this fact, is it pro¬ 
posed to give the western part of Berlin 
the status of a free and demilitarised 
city? 

Khrushchov: The question is put cor¬ 
rectly. Indeed, if we are to proceed from 
the provisions which stem from the Pots¬ 
dam Agreement, it is clear to everyone 
that Berlin is situated on the territory of 
that part of Germany where the German 
Democratic Republic has been created 
and is developing. Therefore the most 
correct decision would be one in accord¬ 
ance with which the western part of 
Berlin, now actually torn away from the 
German Democratic Republic, would re¬ 
unite with its eastern part. Then Berlin 
would become a united city within the 
composition of the state on whose soil 
it is situated. 

Thirteen years have gone by since the 
end of the war and the signing of the 
Potsdam Agreement. During this time 
differing trends have been adopted in the 
economic development and in the state 
systems of West Berlin and of East Ber¬ 
lin, and of the German Democratic Re¬ 
public as a whole. If liquids of entirely 
different composition are brought to¬ 
gether in one vessel, then, as chemists 
say, a certain reaction takes place. And 
we want the Berlin problem to be solved 
on a basis that will not cause a turbulent 
reaction. 

We want to approach the solution of 
this question taking into consideration 
the actual conditions that exist. And the 
best, most realistic approach to the solu¬ 
tion of the Berlin problem is to recog¬ 
nise the fact that there exist two German 
states and to recognise the different 
systems existing in these states. 

In view of this it would be best to 
establish for the western part of Berlin 
the conditions of a free city with its own 
government and with its own social and 
state systems. 

We believe that in the present situation, 
only on the basis of such a realistic 
approach is it possible to find a correct 
solution to the Berlin problem and to 
eliminate painlessly the cancerous tum¬ 
our into which West Berlin has been con¬ 
verted. We want to provide normal con¬ 
ditions for the solution of this problem. 


32 


so that people residing in West Berlin 
and having different views and convic¬ 
tions, should not be forced to accept 
against their will a system which they do 
not like. 

We much appreciate the position of 
the German Democratic Republic, the 
government of which has understood 
our proposals correctly and supports 
them. We much appreciate such a 
position because it is evidence of the 
deep understanding by the government 
of the German Democratic Republic 
of the interests of strengthening peace 
and reunifying their country. The 
government of the German Democratic 
Republic supports this measure 
with regard to West Berlin in the 
interests of ensuring peace and solving 
the German problem, in the hope that 
this step may be a good precedent for 
solving other outstanding problems as 
well. I believe that all people who 
support the interests of peace will under¬ 
stand this step correctly and approve it. 
This step may help to solve the 
questions involved in the signing of a 
peace treaty with Germany, in establish¬ 
ing contacts between the two German 
states—the German Democratic Republic 
and the Federal Republic of Germany. 
Tass correspondent M. Gerasimov: The 
western press claims that the steps 
envisaged by the Soviet government for 
eliminating the vestiges of the occupation 
regime in Berlin might worsen the 
economic position of the city and of its 
residents. Are there any grounds for 
such assertions? 

Khrushchov: In my opinion our 

proposals contain an answer to this 
question. We have stated that the Soviet 
Union, by the orders it places, will 
ensure that West Berlin’s industrial enter¬ 
prises operate at full capacity. The 
Soviet Union also undertakes to fully 
supply West Berlin with food. Naturally, 
we intend to do both these things on a 
commercial basis. I think that no one 
questions the Soviet Union’s possibilities. 
West Berlin workers and employers can 
engage in activities useful to the Berlin 
population. Far from resulting in a 
deterioration of living standards, this 
will assure a higher level of employ¬ 
ment and provide the conditions for 
raising the standard of living. 

It follows that if anyone should be in 
doubt, or be uneasy about this matter, 
it must be said there is no reason what¬ 
soever for that. 

Izvestia correspondent V. Kudryavtsev: 


How is one to interpret the statements 
of certain political leaders of the Federal 
Republic of Germany insisting on the 
preservation of the existing situation in 
Berlin? 

Khrushchov. I think I partly replied to 
this question earlier. The political leaders 
and the statesmen who are insisting on 
the preservation of the old status of 
Berlin are also insisting on the preser¬ 
vation of the abnormal conditions which 
have arisen in Europe and in the rest 
of the world. There is tension in inter¬ 
national relations at the present time. 
To insist on keeping the source of this 
tension means perpetuating it, instead of 
ending it. However, all tension in 
relations can generate super-tension and 
this, in view of the present development 
of armaments, may entail rather sad 
consequences for the human race. 

It is necessary, therefore, to stamp 
out the source of tension and to create 
normal conditions so that people may 
sleep undisturbed without any danger 
of an outbreak of war, involving atomic 
and hydrogen weapons, hanging over 
them. One is perfectly justified in 
questioning the sanity of people who 
are insisting on the preservation of an 
abnormal situation. 

Reuter correspondent V. Buist: What 
guarantees will the Soviet government 
give with respect to West Berlin as a 
free city? Will there be any change in 
the Soviet government’s policy on Berlin 
should Western Germany give up her 
rearmament programme? 

Khrushchov: The statements of the 
Soviet government and all of our docu¬ 
ments give a full guarantee in this 
respect. We shall do everything to safe¬ 
guard and support the free city and 
ensure non-interference in its internal 
affairs, so that it can develop in keeping 
with the wishes of its population. 

Should other countries recognise this 
situation or should they agree to sign 
a joint document or, if necessary, to have 
this recorded in a resolution of the 
United Nations, we would be willing to 
do so. 

You ask whether there will be any 
change in the Soviet government’s policy 
on Berlin should Western Germany 
give up her rearmament programme? 
No, there will be none. It has to be 
borne in mind that Germany is not 
supposed to be armed under the Pots¬ 
dam Agreement. Therefore one cannot 
regard Western Germany’s renunciation 


33 


of her rearmament programme as being a 
concession for a concession. These are 
two different things and of different value. 
Should Western Germany declare that 
she will not arm herself, with the 
occupation regime of Berlin still main¬ 
tained, the source of tension and con¬ 
flict will not be stamped out. It will 
remain. 

It is necessary, therefore, to put an 
end to this abnormal situation. It would 
be very reasonable if Western Germany 
did not arm herself, and it would be still 
more reasonable if the other states with 
forces in Eastern and Western Germany 
withdrew their troops, which we have 
suggested repeatedly. The ending of the 
occupation regime in Berlin and the 
establishment of a free city in the 
western part of Berlin would contribute 
to solving the problem of withdrawing 
the troops from Germany and would 
also be helpful in solving the problem of 
disarmament. 

AON correspondent II. Leoehardt (Ger¬ 
man Democratic Republic): What steps 
and measures would be desirable, in 
your judgement, to ensure that changes 
in the situation in Berlin could be made 
normally and without any difficulties? 
Khrushchov: We want these measures 
to involve no difficulties at all. If all 
the states whom we are addressing were 
to reply to our proposals by welcoming 
them and saying that they were willing 
to meet, if necessary, to sign appropriate 
documents, that would be the most 
reasonable thing to do. I am convinced 
that such a position would be welcomed 
by all people who stand for safeguarding 
world peace. We do not expect our 
proposal to be welcomed, but we do 
believe that it will be properly inter¬ 
preted and received as one corresponding 
to the interests of international peace 
and security. 

The Berlin question will take time to 
settle, and for this reason we have fixed 
a time limit of six months in which to 
think over every aspect of this question, 
and to settle it radically and eliminate 
this seat of danger. 

Question from I. Kulosar, C. S. Kiss and 
I. Szabo, correspondents of the Hun¬ 
garian News Agency, the newspaper 
Nepszabadsag and the Hungarian Radio: 
What steps does the Soviet government 
propose to take should the western 
powers decline to accept a free-city status 
for Berlin ? 

Khrushchov: It would be highly un¬ 


desirable if the governments concerned, 
whom we are addressing, were to disagree 
with our proposals. But even if things 
did take such an unwelcome turn, that 
would not stop us. When the time-limit 
expires, we shall carry into effect our 
proposals as stated in our documents. 
I am not going to enlarge on the reasons 
why we have taken this decision, since 
these have been set out in great detail in 
the documents of the Soviet government. 

D.P.A. agency correspondent Nielsen- 
Stokkeby (Federal Republic of Germany): 
What will the Soviet government’s posi¬ 
tion be should the government of the 
United States decline the proposal for a 
free-city status for Berlin and should it 
also refuse to withdraw its troops from 
Berlin or to hold any talks with the 
government of the German Democratic 
Republic ? 

Khrushchov: We would, certainly, regret 
the United States’ rejection of our pro¬ 
posal. But this, as I have said, would not 
stop us from carrying out our proposals. 
We have no other way out. When the 
western powers, that is to say, the United 
States, Britain and France, violated the 
most important provisions of the Pots¬ 
dam Agreement with respect to German 
demilitarisation and started to arm the 
Federal Republic of Germany, we pro¬ 
tested against it. But our protests passed 
unheeded and the process of the rebirth 
of militarism in Western Germany goes 
on. Therefore, if our proposal for West 
Berlin is not accepted, we shall have to 
do just what the western powers did 
when they cast aside the commitments 
they had assumed at Potsdam and other 
obligations resulting from the defeat of 
nazi Germany. 

Daily Worker correspondent S. Russell 
(Britain): In view of the fact that various 
spy organisations and radio stations 
carrying on subversive activity in West 
Berlin provide employment for many 
people, what does the Soviet government 
propose to do to prevent these people 
from becoming unemployed? (laughter). 
Khrushchov: The only thing that can, 
evidently, be done in this case is to 
recommend to these people that they 
change their trade (laughter), that is to 
say, stop lying and spying and get down 
to work useful for the people. And 
should some of them still remain unem¬ 
ployed, I shan’t sympathise with them 
(animation). 

Le Monde correspondent M. Tatu 
(France): Mr. Chairman, you have said 


34 


that West Berlin belongs to the German 
Democratic Republic. Does this mean, 
in the opinion of the Soviet government, 
that this status of West Berlin will be 
temporary and that at a later stage the 
Soviet government will propose the in¬ 
clusion of West Berlin in the German 
Democratic Republic? 

Khrushchov: I have understood your 
question. Here is my answer. No, we 
do not consider that this is a temporary 
recognition or a temporary sacrifice on 
the part of the German Democratic 
Republic. We believe that the free-city 
status of West Berlin will continue as 
long as the citizens of the free city of 
Berlin so desire it—that is to say, they 
will establish whatever they may choose. 
Die Welt correspondent H. Schowe 
(Western Germany): If West Berlin is 
given a free-city status, in that case will 
a corridor be set aside for access to the 
city from Western Germany, such as the 
one which was once set aside for the 
free city of Danzig? 

Khrushchov: These are details it is 
difficult for me to speak about at present. 
But I think that the free city of Berlin 
certainly should be given a guarantee of 
free communication, both in the eastern 
and western directions. This is provided 
for in our proposals. 

New York Times correspondent M. 
Frankel: The Soviet government’s Note 
to the United States government says that 
if the proposals put forward in the docu¬ 
ment should not be acceptable to the 
United States government, there would 
remain no subject for negotiations on the 
Berlin problem between the former 
occupying powers. Does this mean 
that if the United States government 
disagrees with the specific proposals 
put forward in the Soviet document, 
the Soviet government will not 
be interested in considering any 
other proposals on the Berlin question? 
Khrushchov: You see, it depends on what 
exactly the United States would disagree 
with. If it rejects as a whole the question 
posed in our document, then indeed there 
would remain no subject for talks about 
the Berlin question. If, however, the need 
arises to specify and discuss our pro¬ 
posals, that, in my opinion, is quite per¬ 
missible and even necessary. 

For this reason we put this question, 
not in the nature of an ultimatum, but 
suggesting a six-month time-limit for a 
comprehensive discussion on it, for meet¬ 


ings with representatives of western 
powers, to discuss the Soviet govern¬ 
ment’s proposals if the western powers 
show readiness to discuss this question. 

Siid-Deutschc Zcitung correspondent 3. 
Stcinmayer (Western Germany): It has 

been said that the Soviet proposals re¬ 
garding Berlin are planned on a long¬ 
term basis. Are they envisaged approx¬ 
imately for the period of the existence of 
the two German states? 

Khrushchov: If the two German states 
agree to reunite, this very fact would 
obviously settle the question of the dis¬ 
continuation of the existence of the free 
city, because Germany would be united 
and by the will of the German people 
Berlin would obviously become the 
capital of the single German state. 

New York Herald Tribune correspondent 
T. Lambert: Should the Soviet Note be 
regarded as a denunciation of the Pots¬ 
dam Agreement ? 

Khrushchov: And do you believe the 
Potsdam Agreement is being observed 
now ? (laughter). 

Lambert: Some people believe that it is 
(animation). 

Khrushchov: The governments of the 
United States, Britain and France have 
grossly violated the Potsdam Agreement 
and sabotaged its observance. At the 
same time they cling to one part of this 
agreement, to prolong somehow the 
occupation of Berlin. Other participants 
in the war against Hitler Germany con¬ 
sider that by sabotaging the observance 
of a number of the major provisions of 
the Potsdam agreement, the western 
powers have forfeited the right to stay 
in Berlin. As you know, that is our point 
of view. 

Khrushchov: (addressing the correspon¬ 
dents) : Have you any other questions 
you want me to answer ? No ? I hope 
that I have been able to satisfy the 
requests of the correspondents present. 

I should like the Soviet government’s 
step with regard to Berlin to be under¬ 
stood correctly. It has already been said 
before that this step is aimed at elimini- 
nating a centre of tension, at ensuring a 
world detente, providing normal condi¬ 
tions for peaceful co-existence and 
competition. This is an interesting sphere 
offering wide scope for activities for the 
benefit of the peoples. It is this aim that 
the Soviet government has pursued in 
putting forward its proposals on the 


35 


Berlin question. I urge you to help in 
this noble cause. 

I have read today the speech of the 
United States Vice-President, Mr. Nixon, 
in London. For the first time, perhaps, 
I can say that I agree with the concluding 
part of his speech which mentioned 
peaceful co-existence. This is a rare 
event. Closing his speech in London, 
Mr. Nixon stated that we must at last 
pass to economic competition. He said : 
Let our main aim be, not the defeat of 
communism, but the triumph of plenty 
over need, of health over disease, of 
freedom over tyranny. 

I welcome this statement. 

If Mr. Nixon adopts such a tone in his 
speeches in the future and if other states¬ 
men of the United States, Britain, France 
and Western Germany follow suit, we 
would welcome it. 

One cannot help noting the new ring in 
the voice of Mr. Nixon, the final part of 
whose speech in this case did not breathe 
remnants from the fission of the atomic 
explosions which are held as a threat 
over the peoples. We are against the 
arms race, against the threat of a new 


war. We stand for peaceful competitioiv 
in the economic sphere. Let us competi 
on such a basis—who will beat 
whom ? Mr. Nixon speaks about a readi¬ 
ness to compete in the peaceful sphere 
so as to see who will ensure a higher 
standard of life for the people, who will 
provide the people with better conditions 
to enjoy the benefits of culture, who will 
assure more freedoms for the people. He 
expresses a readiness to compete in 
assuring better conditions in order to 
“ eliminate tyranny.” We differ with 
Mr. Nixon with regard to our conception 
of tyranny: What he regards as freedom 
for the rich to exploit the poor, we 
regard as tyranny; we forbid exploitation 
and he regards our measures against 
exploiters as tyranny. These are different 
conceptions. 

Let there even be different interpreta¬ 
tions of some conceptions and terms. 
What is important is that our efforts 
should be directed towards peaceful 
competition. 

In conclusion Khrushchov thanked 
the correspondents for their attention 
and said goodbye. 


SOVIET GOVERNMENT’S NOTE TO 
GERMAN DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC ON 
THE QUESTION OF BERLIN 

on November 27, 1958 


T HE government of the Union of 
Soviet Socialist Republics is approach¬ 
ing the government of the German 
Democratic Republic in connection with 
the question of Berlin—a question which 
profoundly affects the interests both of 
the German Democratic Republic and the 
Soviet Union. 

The Soviet Union has come to the con¬ 
clusion that the present status of Berlin 
—when part of the city, actually separ¬ 
ated from the German Democratic Re¬ 
public, is occupied by the United States, 
the United Kingdom and France and is 
serving as a base for subversive activity 
against the German Democratic Repub¬ 
lic, the Soviet Union and other socialist 
countries, activity which, to use the ter¬ 
minology of the United States leaders, 


can justly be described as “ indirect 
aggression ”—is intolerable and must be 
changed. 

For a correct approach to the Berlin 
issue it is necessary, of course, to 
bear in mind the historical develop¬ 
ment which has taken place in Germany 
during the postwar years. This develop¬ 
ment has given rise to two separate inde¬ 
pendent states enjoying international 
recognition and coming out for many 
years as independent and sovereign states 
in the international arena. All this has 
made the continuation, in any form, of 
the occupation of Germany by the 
powers which won the last war, an 
anachronism that is devoid of any sense 
or justification in the present situation. 

The continuation of this occupation 


36 


regime in Berlin is today not only an 
absurdity from the point of view of poli¬ 
tical logic and common sense, but a gross 
injustice to the German people, and 
above all to the German Democratic Re¬ 
public, whose capital is Berlin. 
The Soviet government, which sincerely 
respects the sovereign rights of the Ger¬ 
man people, does not consider it possible 
to associate itself with the continuation 
of the occupation regime in Berlin and, 
for its part, proposes to take all measures 
to end it. 

As for the United States, the United 
Kingdom and France, it is obvious that 
they have long forfeited every legal or 
moral right to remain in Berlin, because 
they have grossly violated the Potsdam 
and other quadriparite Allied agreements 
concluded during and immediately after 
the war with a view to putting an end, 
once and for all, to German 
militarism and ensuring the peace¬ 
ful and democratic development of Ger¬ 
many. Suffice it to mention, in this 
connection, such facts as the drawing of 
the Federal Republic of Germany into 
the aggressive North Atlantic bloc and 
the arming of the West German Bundes- 
wehr with American rocket and atomic 
weapons that has begun. 

Consideration could be given to cer¬ 
tain rights of the three western powers 
under the quadripartite Allied agree¬ 
ments only if the United States, the 
United Kingdom and France basically re¬ 
shaped their policy on German affairs 
and, in conformity with the basic princi¬ 
ples of the Potsdam agreements, put an 
end to the militarisation of Western Ger¬ 
many and her participation in N.A.T.O., 
which endanger peace and the future of 
the German nation. Were the western 
powers to take this road, it would mean, 
in fact, compliance with the essence of 
the Allied agreements on Germany. The 
practical prerequisites would thereby be 
created for a rapprochement of the two 
German states on the basis of the Ger¬ 
man Democratic Republic’s well-known 
proposals for the establishment of a 
German Confederation—proposals which 
are fully supported by the Soviet Union 
and which constitute the only effective 
way of restoring the national unity of 


the German people. The western powers’ 
retention of the role of occupationists in 
Berlin is, in the present conditions, 
nothing but a shameless attempt to capi¬ 
talise unilaterally on the long obsolete 
vestiges of agreements which they them¬ 
selves have violated, in the interests of 
the N.A.T.O. military grouping and to 
the detriment of the German Democratic 
Republic and the entire socialist camp. 

In view of all these circumstances, the 
Soviet government now regards as null 
and void the “ Protocol of the Agree¬ 
ment between the Governments of the 
Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, the 
United States of America and the United 
Kingdom, on the Occupation Zones of 
Germany and on the Administration of 
Greater Berlin,” dated September 12, 
1944, and the associated supplementary 
agreements, including the Agreement on 
the Control Machinery in Germany con¬ 
cluded between the governments of the 
U.S.S.R., the United States, the United 
Kingdom and France on May 1, 1945— 
that is to say, the agreements which were 
to be effective during the first years fol¬ 
lowing the surrender of Hitler Germany 
The Soviet government has officially in¬ 
formed the governments of the United 
States, the United Kingdom and France 
of this. 

In conformity with this and guided 
by the principles of unqualified respect 
for the sovereignty of the German Demo¬ 
cratic Republic, the Soviet government 
has in view the transfer to agencies of 
the German Democratic Republic of all 
the functions so far temporarly discharged 
by Soviet organs on the basis of the 
aforementioned Allied agreements and 
under the agreements between the 
U.S.S.R. and the German Democratic 
Republic of September 20, 1955, so that 
in future the German Democratic Repub¬ 
lic would have complete jurisdiction in 
questions related to its territory, that is 
to say, would exercise its sovereignty on 
land, on water and in the air. All con¬ 
tacts of Soviet military and other official 
representatives in Germany with corres¬ 
ponding representatives of the three wes¬ 
tern powers on questions concerning the 
occupation of West Berlin would be dis¬ 
continued. It is also planned to do away 


37 


with the Soviet Military Kommandatura 
in Berlin and to withdraw from the city 
the guard units attached to it. 

In so doing, the Soviet government pro¬ 
ceeds from the premise that the steps 
planned for abolishing the occupation 
status of Berlin would be implemented 
in six months, so that the western powers 
could make appropriate preparations for 
this change in the status of Berlin. 

The Soviet government believes that it 
would be desirable to have talks between 
government delegations of the UJS.S.R. 
and the German Democratic Republic to 
discuss in detail the questions arising 
from the aforementioned plan. If the 
government of the German Democratic 
Republic agrees to this proposal, the date 
for the talks could be fixed later. 

In raising the question of terminating 
the occupation regime in West Berlin, 
as a regime incompatible with the present 
situation in Germany and infringing upon 
the rights of the German people, the 
Soviet government proceeds from the 
assumption that it would have been most 
correct and natural to unite the western 
part of the city, now occupied by the 
United States, Britain and France, with 
the eastern, democratic sector of Ber¬ 
lin, so that the whole city would be under 
the sovereignty of the German Demo¬ 
cratic Republic and would be its capital. 
The Soviet Union would have whole¬ 
heartedly acclaimed such a solution to 
this question. However, taking into con¬ 
sideration the situation that actually 
exists, we must admit that this solution 
to the problem would run up against 
great difficulties in the present circum¬ 
stances. This becomes particularly ob¬ 
vious if we consider the fact that in the 
postwar years the political and economic 
development of Berlin’s western sectors, 
determined as it has been by the western 
occupation regime, has proceeded in a 
direction different from that of the Ger¬ 
man Democratic Republic and East 
Berlin. 

The solution of the Berlin issue on 
this basis is also hampered by the un¬ 
realistic attitude which the governments 
of the United States, the United King¬ 
dom and France still take towards the 
German Democratic Republic. 


Taking stock of all these considera¬ 
tions and guided by the desire that the 
process of terminating the occupation 
regime should not inconvenience the 
population of West Berlin or entail a 
painful reshaping of their habitual way 
of life, the Soviet government would 
consider it possible, in the present con¬ 
ditions, to propose the solution of the 
Berlin issue through the establishment of 
a demilitarised free-city status for West 
Berlin, so that no powers—not even the 
two German states—would have the right 
to interfere in its affairs. West Berlin 
should, in turn, commit itself not to 
allow on its territory any hostile or sub¬ 
versive activity directed against the Ger¬ 
man Democratic Republic or other 
states. 

This status of West Berlin should be 
recognised as binding, both by the four 
powers which took part in the administra¬ 
tion of Berlin after the war, and also 
by the German Democratic Republic 
and the Federal Republic of Germany. 
The United Nations could take part in 
one form or another in the observance 
of this status. 

In putting forward the proposal for 
giving West Berlin the status of a free 
city, of which the Soviet government has 
had an opportunity to inform the govern¬ 
ment of the German Democratic Repub¬ 
lic earlier, in a preliminary, unofficial 
manner, the government of the U.S.S.R. 
is well aware that the practical solution 
of this question calls for active assistance 
from the German Democratic Republic, 
including the ensuring of West Berlin’s 
transport communications in various 
directions with the outer world, for im¬ 
ports, exports and passenger traffic, as 
required by the normal economic develop¬ 
ment of such a social organism as indus¬ 
trial West Berlin, with its population of 
more than two millions. 

For its part, the Soviet Union is ready 
to see to it that the economy of indepen¬ 
dent West Berlin develops normally, 
without difficulties or interruptions, so 
that the living standards of the West Ber¬ 
lin population do not decline, but rise 
steadily, and so that all sections of the 
population may live a normal, peaceful 
life in the free city. The Soviet Union 


38 


would not only honour without fail the 
new status of West Berlin, but could 
assume a definite commitment to ensure 
the necessary orders for the industry of 
the city, and also to supply regularly, on 
a commercial basis, the necessary quan¬ 
tities of raw materials and foodstuffs. 

It is the view of the Soviet govern¬ 
ment that such a solution to the prob¬ 
lem of Berlin—a solution taking into 
account the political situation that 
actually exists—would be an important 
step towards the normalisation of the 
situation both in Berlin and throughout 
Germany. Indeed, acceptance of the 
free-city status for West Berlin would 
make for the solution of at least the 
following three problems: 

(a) An end would be put to the 
unjustified regime of foreign occupa¬ 
tion in West Berlin, and the historical 
capital of Germany would, thereby, 
be completely returned to the 
Germans. 

(b) The utilisation of West Berlin 
as a centre for espionage, subversion, 
slanderous propaganda and other 
forms of undermining activity against 
the German Democratic Republic and 
the other socialist states would be 
ended once and for all. The Soviet 
Union is also very much interested in 
this, as an ally of the German Demo¬ 
cratic Republic who, moreover, tem¬ 
porarily maintains, under the Warsaw 
Treaty, certain contingents of armed 
forces on the territory of the German 
Democratic Republic for the joint 
defence of both states. 

(c) One of the most dangerous 
centres of international tension existing 
at the present time would be elimi¬ 
nated, and the probability of a new 
war breaking out in Europe would 
thereby be greatly reduced. Moreover, 
the free city of West Berlin could be 
a factor promoting the normalisation 
of relations between the two German 
states. It could become a kind of 
centre for peaceful, fruitful contacts 
between Eastern and Western Ger¬ 
many, and this would promote a 
gradual rapprochement of the two 
parts of the country as the first step 
towards its unification — a cause 


actively championed by the German 

Democratic Republic. 

It goes without saying, of course, that 
the Soviet government is fully aware that 
consent to grant the status of a free city 
to West Berlin, situated as it is in the 
heart of the German Democratic Repub¬ 
lic, would be a big concession by the 
German Democratic Republic for the 
sake of strengthening peace in Germany 
and Europe, for the sake of the national 
interests of the German people as a 
whole. There can be no doubt that such 
a noble step by the German Democratic 
Republic would be rightly understood 
and greatly appreciated by German 
patriots throughout Germany, from the 
Oder to the Rhine, from the shores of 
the Baltic Sea to the Bavarian Alps. 

The Soviet government sincerely hopes 
that the government of the German 
Democratic Republic will display under¬ 
standing and sympathy for the afore¬ 
mentioned considerations regarding the 
termination of the occupation regime in 
Berlin and will, for its part, lend a help¬ 
ing hand in the achievement of this goal 
which is so important for the cause of 
peace in Europe and for the national 
interests of the German people. 

As for the Soviet Union, it has always 
developed its relations with the German 
people on the basis of mutual respect and 
equitable co-operation, which have 
nothing in common with the occupation 
regime. The best example of this is the 
fraternal relations which have developed 
between the Soviet Union and the Ger¬ 
man Democratic Republic, as equal mem¬ 
bers of the family of socialist states— 
relations which are prized by every Soviet 
citizen, who sees in them a guarantee of 
peace and of the Soviet people’s friend¬ 
ship with the entire German nation and, 
through this, a basic guarantee of lasting 
peace in Europe. 

The Soviet Union greatly appreciates 
the fact that the German Democratic 
Republic, in complete conformity with 
the principles of the Potsdam Agreement, 
has done away with militarism and 
monopoly domination in Eastern Ger¬ 
many, has boldly embarked upon the 
road of democratic development and is 


39 


consistently pursuing a peaceloving 
foreign policy. 

The Soviet people wholeheartedly 
rejoice at the German Democratic Repub¬ 
lic’s successes in socialist construction. 
They share with the patriots of the Ger¬ 
man Democratic Republic the feeling of 
unshakable confidence and legitimate 
pride arising from the results already 
achieved by the workers of the German 
Democratic Republic in consolidating 
their people’s state, and also from the 
far-reaching prospects for the country’s 
development mapped out by the Fifth 
Congress of the Socialist Unity Party of 
Germany. 

The recent elections to the People’s 
Chamber and the local organs of state 
power have once more conclusively 
shown the support of the republic’s 
population for the policy of the govern¬ 
ment and the bloc of democratic parties. 
The election returns have exploded the 
inventions of western propaganda con¬ 
cerning alleged instability of the people’s 
democratic system in the German Demo¬ 
cratic Republic. 

A convincing proof of the socialist 
system’s superiority are the great accom¬ 
plishments of the Soviet people—the loyal 
friend and ally of the German Democratic 
Republic. The Soviet Union has now 
entered a most important period of its 
development—the period of the extensive 
construction of a communist society. The 
proposals of the central committee of the 
Communist Party of the Soviet Union 
on the target figures for the development 
of the U.S.S.R.’s national economy from 
1959 to 1965, which have recently been 
published, convincingly show that the 
Soviet Union has achieved an unparalleled 
flowering of all its material and spiritual 
forces, that it is truly advancing by seven- 
league strides along the road of building 
communism. 

Progress in all spheres of political, 
economic and cultural life is a charac¬ 
teristic feature of all the states which have 


embarked upon the road of socialism. 
Their victory in the great peaceful com¬ 
petition with the capitalist countries is an 
immutable law, because the new always 
triumphs over the old in every process of 
development. 

The successes achieved by the countries 
making up the fraternal community of 
the socialist states are the foundation of 
the might of the socialist camp and the 
guarantee of the success of its peaceloving 
policy in the international field. The 
strength of the socialist camp lies in its 
unbreakable unity. Always abiding by 
its foreign policy of peaceful co-existence 
and co-operation with all countries, the 
Soviet Union, in its relations with the 
countries of the socialist camp, proceeds 
on the basis of the principles of pro¬ 
letarian internationalism and close and 
unselfish fraternal co-operation. This, 
and only this, is the Soviet Union’s 
approach to its relations with the German 
Democratic Republic. 

The Soviet government will regard any 
encroachment by German militarists and 
revenge-seekers, or their allies on the 
frontiers or the security of the German 
Democratic Republic, as on its other 
allies, as an attack on the U.S.S.R. and 
all the countries that are signatories of 
the Warsaw Treaty. 

There can be no doubt that if there 
were hotheads ready to attempt aggres¬ 
sive actions against the German Demo¬ 
cratic Republic or the other socialist 
states united in a defensive alliance and 
acting in accordance with the motto 
“ Each for all and all for each,” they 
would be administered an immediate and 
crushing rebuff. The Soviet government 
has drawn attention to this circumstance 
in its Notes to the governments of the 
United States, the United Kingdom and 
France on the question of Berlin. A copy 
of the Note to the United States govern¬ 
ment is enclosed herewith for the 
information of the government of the 
German Democratic Republic. 


40 


SOVIET NOTE TO QOVERNMENT OF 
THE FEDERAL REPUBLIC OF QE RMANY 
ON THE QUESTION OF BERLIN 

on November 27, 1958 


T HE government of the Union of Soviet 
Socialist Republics is addressing the 
government of the Federal Republic of 
Germany on the urgent question of the 
status of Berlin and is informing it of the 
content of its Notes on this question 
sent to the governments of the United 
States, the United Kingdom and France. 
A copy of the Note to the government of 
the United States is enclosed. 

Although the Federal Republic of Ger¬ 
many is known to have no direct connec¬ 
tion with the status of Berlin, neverthe¬ 
less, taking into consideration the impor¬ 
tance of Berlin, as the historical capital 
of Germany, for the entire German 
people and the existing economic 
relations and relations of other kinds 
between the western part of the city and 
the Federal Republic of Germany, the 
Soviet government considers it necessary 
to communicate the following to the 
Federal government in view of the 
measures planned for eliminating the 
remnants of the occupation regime in 
Berlin. 

In the eyes of the Soviet people, and 
of the peoples of the other countries as 
well, Berlin is not only a city where more 
than three million Germans live in the 
conditions of an unnatural division and 
constant political tension, but it is also an 
object lesson of the tragedy which the 
German people experienced as a result 
of the policy of aggression and war 
gambles pursued by Germany for 
decades. The ruins of the Reichstag, the 
debris on the site of the Reich Chan¬ 
cellory, the shells of wrecked houses only 
a few steps from rebuilt thoroughfares, 
and the vacant plots and gardens on the 
sites of former residential quarters still 
remind us of that. 


The most savage and sanguinary war 
in the history of mankind ended there, 
in Berlin, over 13 years ago, and fuel 
that threatens to flare up as a result of 
incidents which seem to be of local signi¬ 
ficance is again being piled up and is 
smouldering within the walls of the city, 
which has now become one of the most 
sensitive centres of differences and 
dangerous conflicts between two mighty 
groupings of powers. 

How can one explain the general 
apprehension caused by the present posi¬ 
tion of Berlin? The first and main cause 
is that the governments of the United 
States, the United Kingdom and France, 
taking advantage of the special rights 
granted by the Allied agreements on Ger¬ 
many, have isolated the western part of 
Berlin from the German Democratic 
Republic and have turned West Berlin 
into a kind of state within a state. They 
brandish weapons every time the question 
of the illegality of such a situation is 
raised and have even called West Berlin a 
front-line city. They are deliberately con¬ 
ditioning the world to the idea that 
Berlin is called upon to play the role of 
another Sarajevo, where the spark that 
kindled the flame of world war was struck 
in 1914. 

The western powers are using West 
Berlin for indirect aggression, having con¬ 
verted this part of the capital of the 
German Democratic Republic into an 
outpost where the intelligence and sabo¬ 
tage services are based conducting 
subversive activity against the German 
Democratic Republic and the Soviet 
forces that are on its territory in con¬ 
formity with the Warsaw Treaty, and 
against all the countries which are parties 
to this treaty. Dozens of espionage and 
sabotage centres, working for foreign 


41 


states, have been accommodated there 
and their provocative actions are in fact 
being carried out through the open doors 
between West and East Berlin, between 
West Berlin and the German Democratic 
Republic. 

Can any state tolerate a situation in 
which hostile activity against it is carried 
on almost openly from a city lying within 
that state? Even with the most biased 
approach, one cannot but agree that if 
such a state did not seek to protect itself 
from activity of that kind, it would be 
acting contrary to its own interests. 

The criminal activity of the numerous 
espionage centres imposes its sinister 
imprint on the entire life of West Berlin, 
corrupts and harms the young people, 
and keeps the population of West Berlin 
in a state of fear and uncertainty about 
their future. 

The disruption of West Berlin’s con¬ 
tacts with the adjacent economic areas of 
the German Democratic Republic and its 
severance from natural markets and sup¬ 
plies of raw materials, food and fuel have 
led to a disturbance and a decline in 
the economy of the western part of Berlin 
—a city which before the war was one 
of the major industrial and commercial 
centres of the world. Can one, for in¬ 
stance, regard as normal the fact that 
West Berlin’s industry has been kept for 
many years at prewar level, while this 
level has been more than doubled both 
in the German Democratic Republic and 
the Federal Republic of Germany? 

Does anyone benefit from West Berlin 
being in that economic position? It is 
obvious that quite the opposite is in the 
interests of the German Democratic 
Republic. As for the Federal Republic 
of Germany, West Berlin is a heavy 
financial burden to it, for according to the 
available information, some 8,000 million 
marks, collected from the West German 
taxpayers, have been spent since 1950 on 
covering the chronic deficit in the city 
budget. There is nothing to compensate 
for these expenditures except the very 
dubious “ convenience ” of carrying on 
subversive and sabotage activity from 
West Berlin against the German Demo¬ 
cratic Republic. 


No matter from what point of view the 
question of Berlin is approached— 
whether from the point of view of safe¬ 
guarding the interests of peace and im¬ 
proving the relations between the powers, 
or that of the requirements of Germany’s 
independent development and the restor¬ 
ation of a normal situation in the city 
itself-—it cannot but be admitted that 
there are more than enough reasons for 
terminating the four-power occupation 
status of Berlin. 

It is true that the western powers, 
judging by everything, would not be 
averse to continuing to keep their 
garrisons in West Berlin indefinitely. But 
such claims are quite groundless. The 
Allied agreements on which this status 
rested or which reaffirmed it—and 
primarily the most important of them, 
the Potsdam Agreement—have been 
grossly violated by the western powers 
and this has logically released the Soviet 
Union from the obligation to honour the 
agreements on Berlin, which are now 
obsolete. 

The Germans are better aware than 
anyone else of the western powers’ 
attitude to these agreements. Is it not 
graphically illustrated by the fact that, 
apart from technical contacts on air com¬ 
munications between Berlin and the 
Federal Republic of Germany, the only 
agency that has been preserved and is 
normally functioning in which represen¬ 
tatives of the four powers are co-oper¬ 
ating is the inter-allied prison in Spandau 
(West Berlin) where the main war 
criminals are detained? 

The Soviet government also regards as 
being utterly without foundation the 
statements by the governments of the 
three western powers to the effect that 
their right to be present in West Berlin 
arises from the fact of the surrender and 
the occupation of Germany. It is diffi¬ 
cult to take such statements seriously 
unless one closes one’s eyes to the fact 
that two independent states, enjoying 
international recognition, have existed in 
Germany for more than nine years. 

As for the Soviet Union, it is known 
to have established long since with the 
German Democratic Republic and the 


42 


Federal Republic of Germany the same 
relations as with other sovereign states. 
If the United States, the United Kingdom 
and France continue to reserve for them¬ 
selves special rights as occupationists 
(such as the right to proclaim a “ state of 
emergency ” in the Federal Republic of 
Germany), numerous privileges for their 
forces (including that of having the 
Federal Republic of Germany pay for 
their upkeep) and, lastly, the right to 
administer West Berlin through the mili¬ 
tary commandants—all this only 
expresses the desire of the three powers 
to continue to subordinate the internal 
and foreign policy of the Federal Repub¬ 
lic of Germany to their own strategic 
plans. They have mainly used the occu¬ 
pation of German territory in order to 
incite Western Germany against the 
Soviet Union, which bore the brunt of 
the struggle against nazi Germany. They 
have done, and are continuing to do the 
same thing with regard to West Berlin. 

The Soviet government would like to 
think that the Soviet Union's aim of 
eliminating the remnants of the occupa¬ 
tion regime in Germany and in Berlin 
will meet with a favourable attitude in 
the Federal Republic, where the patrio¬ 
tically-minded forces are seeking a way 
to achieve fulfilment of the desire for an 
independent policy and for the preserva¬ 
tion of a national way of life, which, 
of course, are being hindered by the 
remnants of the military occupation 
preserved by three foreign powers. The 
remnants of this regime have long since 
become a harmful burden weighing 
down on the relations between many 
states and preventing the German people 
from rising firmly to their feet and 
taking their place, as equals, in the 
community of nations. 

The Soviet government has never held 
that the Potsdam Agreement merely lays 
down certain conditions for Germany, 
merely imposes certain obligations on 
her. On the contrary, the Potsdam 
Agreement imposes serious obligations, 
as regards the German people, on the 
victor powers as well. In addition to 
providing for the eradication of German 
militarism and nazism and for safeguards 
against Germany ever again menacing 


her neighbours or world peace, the Pots¬ 
dam Agreement stipulates that the signa¬ 
tory powers should regard Germany as 
a single economic whole, that the occu¬ 
pation of German territory by foreign 
troops should be of a temporary, transient 
nature and that a peaceful settlement 
should be prepared for Germany. If 
these provisions of the Potsdam Agree¬ 
ment, which are of vital importance for 
the German nation, have not been 
carried out, the responsibility for this 
rests not only with the three western 
powers but also with the government of 
the Federal Republic of Germany. It is 
Western Germany’s opposition that has 
nullified the efforts of the Soviet Union 
towards the development of Germany 
as a united, peaceful and democratic 
state and towards the conclusion of a 
just peace treaty with Germany. 

Such gross violations of the letter and 
spirit of Potsdam as the establishment of 
a state isolated from Eastern Germany, 
the entry of the Federal Republic of 
Germany into an exclusive western 
military grouping (N.A.T.O.), the revival 
of aggresive militarist forces in Western 
Germany, the establishment of a regular 
army and the policy of equipping the 
Bundeswehr with atomic and rocket 
weapons, would have been impossible 
without the support and active participa¬ 
tion of Western Germany. The govern¬ 
ment of the Federal Republic is 
responsible for the unlawful trial staged 
against the Communist Party of 
Germany, in which the verdict was in 
open violation of the Potsdam Agree¬ 
ment providing for freedom of action 
for democratic political parties in 
Germany. It is significant that the repre¬ 
sentative of the Federal government 
declared at the trial that the republic's 
authorities did not consider themselves 
bound by the Potsdam Agreement. 

I NSTEAD of pursuing a policy of peace¬ 
fulness and respect for the interests of 
other states, as required by the Potsdam 
Agreement, the government of the 
Federal Republic proclaimed a “policy 
of strength.” It is well known, however, 
that every action produces a reaction. 
Anyone attempting to pursue a policy 
based on strength, especially with regard 


43 


to such a state as the Soviet Union, must 
realise that the Soviet Union will, in 
reply, rely on its own strength and, 
naturally, on the support of its War¬ 
saw Treaty allies. Meanwhile, it is 
obvious that a policy of invoking the 
right of might is not a realistic one for the 
Federal Republic of Germany. It merely 
leads to a worsening of relations, to con¬ 
flicts and, ultimately, to war. The Soviet 
people refuse to believe that Germans 
living in the Federal Republic want this, 
for to follow this road would be to court 
an even greater tragedy than the one the 
German nation experienced in the recent 
past. 

The Soviet people, who have tasted to 
the full the sorrows and horrors of 
war, can appreciate better than anyone 
else the extent of the catastrophe which 
befell Germany, the anguish of the be¬ 
reaved German families. The Volga 
steppes and the plains of the Ukraine, 
Byelorussia, Poland and other countries 
where the nazi army passed are dotted 
with crosses marking the graves of Ger¬ 
man soldiers. There are millions of them. 
It is hard to believe that Germans have 
forgotten this and that they have not 
cursed war. And today, a military con¬ 
flict started by the Federal Republic of 
Germany would—taking into considera¬ 
tion modern means of warfare and the 
Federal Republic’s position as N.A.T.O.’s 
front line—inevitably turn the terri¬ 
tory of Western Germany into one 
vast theatre of military operations in 
which the belligerents would explode the 
maximum quantity of thermonuclear 
weapons. If any part of the population 
were to be left alive after this, they would 
not be capable of continuing to live. 

No one in his right mind, if he has 
any knowledge of modern weapons of 
mass destruction, can deny this. Have 
not the German people had to learn—■ 
literally by suffering—the harsh but just 
lesson of history that there is nothing 
more dangerous, more insane for Ger¬ 
many than to covet the east and regard 
it as an object of conquest and a source 
of gain? In our day, to march on the 
east would mean, for Germany, march¬ 
ing to death. The future of Germany 
is not in the glory of her arms but in 


peaceful communion with her neigh¬ 
bours. This communion alone can pro¬ 
vide the necessary scope for the fullest 
revelation of the great technical and 
spiritual talents of the German people, 
renowned for their industry, and ensure 
the country’s economic prosperity. 

It is not yet too late to renounce the 
dangerous “ policy of strength ” followed 
by the government of the Federal Re¬ 
public of Germany, and to replace it by 
a policy of friendship and co-operation 
based on the development of commercial, 
economic and cultural ties—a policy that 
would help to bring about a normal 
situation in Europe and would release 
the people from constant nervous strain, 
enable them to go freely about their busi¬ 
ness, bring up their children without fear 
for their future, and to enjoy peace and 
quiet. This turn in the policy of the 
Federal Republic would meet with an 
appropriate response on the part of the 
Soviet Union, which sincerely wants to 
be friends with the Federal Republic and 
wishes the people of Germany nothing 
but good. 

The regrettable fact that the German 
problem remains unsolved is a direct re¬ 
sult of the fact that the three western 
powers and the Federal Republic of Ger¬ 
many have departed from the principles 
of the Potsdam Agreement and the Fede¬ 
ral government has adhered to the 
N.A.T.O. policy. In actual fact, the 
German people are today as far from 
the re-establishment of their national 
unity as they were in the first months 
after the end of the Second World War, 
and this goal is made even more remote 
by the utterly unjustified absence of a 
peace treaty. 

The Soviet Union is on the side of 
those forces of the German people which 
are pressing for Germany’s reunification 
along peaceful and democratic lines. But 
the Soviet government can only express 
its wishes. It cannot interfere in the 
internal affairs of the Germans or bring 
pressure to bear on them. Naturally, it 
does not recognise the right of any other 
power to impose its will on either of 
the German states. 

In the present conditions, when two 


44 


Germanies, two German states with 
different social systems, have developed, 
the Soviet government sees no promising 
way to the country’s reunification other 
than through gradual rapprochement be¬ 
tween the two German states and the 
establishment by them of common 
government agencies, that is to say, the 
establishment of a German confeder¬ 
ation, as has been suggested by the 
government of the German Demo¬ 
cratic Republic. The longer the 
government of the Federal Republic 
of Germany keeps on turning down this 
proposal, the more it will expose itself 
as an opponent of German unity. The 
professions of Federal government states¬ 
men responsible for the country’s foreign 
policy that they seek this unity change 
nothing, inasmuch as they are refuted 
by facts, by the real policy of the Fede¬ 
ral government, which is further widen¬ 
ing the gulf between the two German 
states. 

The Soviet government has carefully 
studied the Note of the Federal govern¬ 
ment of November 17, this year, putting 
forward its views concerning the estab¬ 
lishment of a four-power commission for 
considering the German question. It 
should be noted, unfortunately, that the 
position of the government of the Fede¬ 
ral Republic of Germany is still un¬ 
realistic as regards the functions of this 
commission, since it again submits the 
question of Germany’s reunification 
for discussion by representatives of the 
four powers. At the same time, the 
Note pushes into the background the 
question of a peace treaty with Germany 
and relegates it to a position of secon¬ 
dary importance, even though the pre¬ 
paration of the treaty is, so to speak, the 
threshold to the settlement of the Ger¬ 
man problem as a whole. 

True, there has been no lack of efforts 
to picture the latest Note as a compro¬ 
mise proposal of some kind. In point 
of fact, however, there is not the slightest 
hint of a desire to meet half way the 
proposals of the government of the Ger¬ 
man Democratic Republic, which consti¬ 
tute a programme for the peaceful re¬ 
unification of Germany that is feasible 


in practice in the existing situation. This, 
Note is a reflection of the old orientation 
towards absorption of the German 
Democratic Republic rather than negotia¬ 
tions. But if one approaches the ques¬ 
tion of German reunification in this way* 
one must take account of the fact that 
the German Democratic Republic has, 
no less reason to raise the question of 
abolishing the scheme of things existing; 
in the Federal Republic of Germany. It 
is clear that this approach leads, not to> 
the attainment of the national aims of 
the Germans, but to an even greater- 
deadlock. 

The Soviet government has repeatedly 
explained that neither the U.S.S.R. nor 
the U.S.A., nor any other state is entitled 
to consider the problem of the reunifica¬ 
tion of the German Democratic Republic 
and the Federal Republic of Germany.. 
This should be done by the Germans ins 
Eastern and Western Germany them¬ 
selves, when they are ready and want to. 
do so. It is their affair and they them¬ 
selves should reach agreement on it. 

The Soviet government considers it 
necessary to draw the Federal govern¬ 
ment’s attention once again to the pro¬ 
posal of the German Democratic Repub¬ 
lic for the establishment of an appro¬ 
priate commission composed of represen¬ 
tatives of both German states, which, in« 
addition to working out a common Ger¬ 
man viewpoint on questions related to the 
preparation of a peace treaty with Ger¬ 
many, would consider measures necessary 
for the restoration of Germany’s national 
unity along democratic and peaceful 
lines. At the same time, the Soviet gov¬ 
ernment reaffirms its readiness to take* 
part at any time in talks on the prepara¬ 
tion of a peace treaty with Germany. 

In view of the Federal government’s, 
refusal to establish contacts with the 
government of the German Democratic 
Republic for the reunification of Ger¬ 
many, no one can say how long the 
present situation, that is to say, Ger¬ 
many’s division into two states, will per¬ 
sist. But in that case what is to be done' 
with West Berlin, which constitutes a 
constant source of tension and potential- 
conflicts, an abscess, as it were, which 


45 


plagues Germany and the whole of 
Europe? Obviously everything should 
be done in good time to improve the 
situation in that city. 

Guided by this and also proceeding 
from the principle of unqualified respect 
for the sovereignty of the German 
Democratic Republic, the Soviet govern¬ 
ment will at the appropriate moment 
•enter into negotiations with the govern¬ 
ment of the German Democratic Repub¬ 
lic on transferring to the German 
Democratic Republic the functions which 
Soviet organs have been exercising tem¬ 
porarily under the terms of the Allied 
agreements on Germany and Berlin and 
under the agreement between the U.S.S.R. 
and the German Democratic Republic of 
September 20, 1955. In so doing, what is 
intended is that the German Democratic 
Republic, like any other independent 
state, should have full jurisdiction over 
matters concerning its space, that is to 
say, should exercise its sovereignty on 
land, on water and in the air. 

In addition, the Soviet government 
suggests that West Berlin be granted the 
status of a free and demilitarised city 
which should have its own government 
and other bodies for its self-government. 
The Soviet government’s proposals to 
this effect are set forth in its Note to the 
government of the United States which is 
enclosed herewith. 

In order to avoid a wrong interpreta¬ 
tion of the steps it is suggesting, the 
Soviet government considers it useful to 
stress the following: 

The Soviet government does not 
envisage the inclusion of West Berlin in 
the German Democratic Republic, just 
as it itself is not seeking territorial or any 
other forms of aggrandisement. There 
can be no question of a mechanical 
merger of the two parts of the city, if 
only because two different ways of life 
exist on the two sides of the Branden¬ 
burg Gate—the socialist way of life in 
East Berlin and one based on private 
ownership in West Berlin. In other 
words, what the Soviet Union advocates 
is not a breaking up of the established 
order, but the existence of West Berlin 
in a way desired by its population. If the 
people of West Berlin want the social 


system they have now, that is their will, 
and the Soviet Union will respect the 
free city regardless of its state and social 
system. 

The Soviet government is ready to sign 
with other states a guarantee of the 
independence of the free city of West 
Berlin. The United Nations might also 
take part in safeguarding these guaran¬ 
tees. Of course, in view of the insular 
position of West Berlin, the need for 
some form of agreement with the 
German Democratic Republic would 
arise, in order to ensure unhindered com¬ 
munications between the free city and 
the outside world, both eastward and 
westward, with the object of free pas¬ 
senger and goods traffic into and out of 
the city. 

West Berlin, in turn, would have to 
undertake to prevent any hostile sub¬ 
versive activity from within its confines 
against the state on whose territory it is 
situated. It would have to be a demili¬ 
tarised city. 

The Soviet government, for its part, 
solemnly declares that it will do every¬ 
thing necessary to ensure the normal 
existence of the free city as an indepen¬ 
dent economic entity. The Soviet govern¬ 
ment does not see any obstacles to the 
development of a stable and sound 
economic life in the free city. It is pre¬ 
pared, if need be, to contribute to the 
full-time working of West Berlin enter¬ 
prises and to supply, on a commercial 
basis, the necessary raw materials and 
foodstuffs. 

It is the wish of the Soviet government 
that the change in the status of West 
Berlin, its transformation into a free city, 
may benefit the people of West Berlin, 
that West Berlin may trade freely with 
whomsoever it finds it profitable to trade, 
that its industry and crafts may develop, 
and that all the prerequisites may be 
created for raising the level of employ¬ 
ment and the people’s wellbeing. 

In its approach to the question of end¬ 
ing the occupation status of Berlin, the 
Soviet government proceeds from the 
assumption that the measures it suggests 
will be carried out in six months’ time, 
in order to enable the three western 


46 


powers, and also the Federal Republic 
of Germany, to prepare for the change 
in the status of Berlin and to make this 
change painless in every respect. It 
regards this period as quite sufficient for 
the U.S.S.R., the United States, the 
United Kingdom and France to find a 
sound foundation for the solution of 
problems related to changes in the status 
of Berlin and for holding talks, if need 
be, between the city authorities of the 
two parts of Berlin and between the 
German Democratic Republic and the 
Federal Republic of Germany for a 
settlement of problems that might arise. 
In the course of this period the parties 


concerned will be able to prove in deeds, 
by settling the question of Berlin, their 
desire for the easing of international 
tension. 

The Soviet government considers that 
the elimination of the vestiges of the 
occupation regime in Berlin will be a great 
service to peace and to the establishment 
of a normal situation in Germany. It 
hopes that the Federal government wifi 
show a proper understanding of the 
motives which prompt the Soviet Union 
to take the measures set forth in this 
Note and in the Notes to the govern¬ 
ments of the United States, the United 
Kingdom and France. 


N. S. KHRUSHCHOV REPLIES TO 
QUESTIONS OF WEST GERMAN 
CORRESPONDENT 

N. S. Khrushchov, Chairman of the U.S.S.R. Council of Ministers, has 
replied to a number of questions put to him by Hans Kempski, chief 
correspondent of the West German newspaper Siiddeutsche Zeitung. Below 
we publish the correspondent’s questions and N. S. Khrushchov’s replies: 


QUESTION: Could you describe in 
greater detail the status of the free city 
of West Berlin ? 

ANSWER: The Soviet government’s 
proposals for doing away with the ves¬ 
tiges of the occupation regime in Berlin 
and for turning West Berlin into an 
independent political entity—a demilit¬ 
arised free city—give an idea of what 
West Berlin would be like. In our view 
West Berlin must be a free city in whose 
economic and political life no country, 
including the existing German states, can 
interfere. 

The free city of West Berlin will have 
its own constitution, based on democratic 
principles. The constitution should en¬ 
sure all the citizens of West Berlin, 
regardless of political or religious con¬ 
victions, the fundamental human rights 
and principal freedoms, including free¬ 
dom of speech and of the press, free¬ 
dom of assembly and of association, and 
freedom of conscience. The legislative 
power will be vested in a freely elected 
parliament, and the executive power in 


the government the parliament appoints. 
The city will also have its own idependent 
judicature. 

As regards the economic aspect, the 
free city of West Berlin will be a single 
unit with its own budget, its bank, cur¬ 
rency circulation and taxation system. 
The revenues will all go to the city bud¬ 
get, and will not be pumped out of West 
Berlin taxpayers’ pockets for the military 
preparations of the Federal Republic of 
Germany and the upkeep of foreign 
occupation troops in West Berlin. Given 
an appropriate agreement, the industrial 
output of the West Berlin undertakings 
would be exported both to the Federal 
Republic of Germany and the German 
Democratic Republic, as well as to all 
other countries with which the free city 
establishes business contacts, without any 
restrictions. The stability and advance¬ 
ment of the city’s economy will also be 
ensured by the development of all-round, 
mutually beneficial economic relations 
with the countries of the East and West. 
For its part, the Soviet Union is ready 


47 


to provide the industry of the free city 
with orders and raw materials, thereby 
ensuring the full employment of the 
population and a sound, well-balanced 
economy. 

The Soviet government proposes that 
West Berlin should be demilitarised and 
should not have any foreign armed forces 
on its territory. It goes without saying 
that the free city will have the necessary 
police formations to maintain law and 
order in the city. Some advocates of per¬ 
petuating the occupation regime in Ber¬ 
lin are now trying to assert that if the 
troops of the three western powers leave 
the city. West Berlin will, so they allege, 
lose all protection. We are confident 
that the opposite is the case: precisely 
the absence of American tanks and 
British guns in the streets of West Berlin, 
and its tranformation into a free city, will 
create an atmosphere of tranquillity and 
will guarantee the appropriate security. 
It is hardly possible to imagine better 
guarantees for the security of West 
Berlin than the commitments of the four 
great powers and the two German states. 
These commitment-guarantees may, if 
necessary, be recorded with the United 
Nations. The Soviet Union and the 
German Democratic Republic are ready 
to take part in these guarantees with a 
view to observing the status of the free 
city. Only the western powers are still 
refusing to do so. 

It is appropriate to ask: Where does 
the threat to the status of the future free 
city come from—from the East or West? 
In this connection we cannot fail to note 
the absurdity of statements about some 
mythical plans of the German Democra¬ 
tic Republic for seizing West Berlin. 
Isn’t it clear that if such plans were a 
reality, the Soviet Union, as an ally of 
the German Democratic Republic under 
the Warsaw Treaty, would not be coming 
forward with a proposal for granting 
West Berlin the status of a free city and 
would not be expressing its readiness to 
take part in guaranteeing its security. 
Moreover, for the sake of easing tension 
in Germany and Europe, the German 
Democratic Republic is making no small 
sacrifice by agreeing to the existence 
of a free city in the heart of the republic 


and by guaranteeing the unobstructed 
communication of this city with the East 
and the West. 

Those who insist that the stay of a 
certain number of western troops in 
Berlin is necessary in order to safeguard 
the present situation there, should learn 
to assess the existing situation in a 
realistic way. Indeed, if there were 
reasons for solving the Berlin question by 
force, would the presence of some troops 
in West Berlin constitute an insur¬ 
mountable obstacle, with the modem 
means of warfare available ? On the 
contrary, the stay of these troops in 
Berlin is precisely what creates the 
“ cancerous tumour ” which all the 
peaceloving peoples, and above all the 
German people themselves, fear may 
grow to a size when conflicts, and then 
open military clashes, would break out. 
Precisely for this reason we propose to> 
do away with this malignant tumour, sa 
as to create conditions which, instead 
of increasing tension in Europe, would, 
on the contrary, eliminate it and create 
a favourable climate for peaceful co¬ 
existence. The implementation of our 
proposal will lay the foundation for eas¬ 
ing and improving the atmosphere in 
Europe and eliminating such a hotbed 
in Berlin. 

Given the appropriate understanding 
and good relations, favourable pre¬ 
requisites would be created for solving 
other still more complicated questions, 
and particularly the question of with¬ 
drawing the troops, so that the armed 1 
forces of the two opposing military 
groupings would not have direct contact, 
which would create a kind of disengage¬ 
ment zone. For our part, we are ready to 
reduce the number of troops stationed in 
the German Democratic Republic, on 
condition that the western powers agree 
to cut their own forces stationed in 
Western Germany. We are even ready to 
withdraw our troops to the national fron¬ 
tiers from the territories of the European 
countries where they are now temporarily 
stationed, if the Western powers do the 
same. If these proposals of ours were 
accepted, we would be ready to establish 
control over the reduction and with¬ 
drawal of foreign troops from both 


48 


German states. There is hardly any need 
to demonstrate the advantages arising 
from the withdrawal of foreign troops 
from German territory. I am sure that this 
step would bring the German people a 
substantial alleviation. 

I should like to reply, in this connec¬ 
tion, to certain gas-bags who concoct 
fabrications about the Soviet Union in¬ 
tending to seize West Berlin. Their 
speculation on this subject is merely 
stupid. Such an allegation can only be 
made by people who want, whatever the 
cost, to perpetuate the present tension, 
while we are striving to create conditions 
for the ending of the “ cold war,” to 
create an atmosphere which would not 
poison relations among the great powers, 
and not only among them for that matter. 
We are sincerely striving to dispel the 
sinister clouds of a third world war that 
is now being prepared by certain people. 
Who else, if not the Germans in the two 
German states, who have paid a toll of 
many human lives and colossal material 
wealth in wars, and particularly in the 
last war, should know what war is really 
like ? They are fed up with wars and, 
I have no doubt, are against the prepara¬ 
tion of a third world war. 

The implementation of the Soviet pro¬ 
posals would create favourable conditions 
for a more rational use of materials and 
finances, would prevent the draining of 
national budgets to meet military needs, 
and would make them available for rais¬ 
ing the peoples’ living standards. 

The status of a free city does not 
impose any onerous obligations on West 
Berlin or its residents. We propose only 
one thing : West Berlin must not permit 
any hostile, subversive activity or propa¬ 
ganda on its territory against any other 
state, and above all against the German 
Democratic Republic. And furthermore, 
the residents of this city will stand to gain 
from this—in the first place the very 
same residents who are now becoming 
entangled, against their will, in the webs 
of various espionage and subversive 
organisations, thereby gravely endanger¬ 
ing their own lives. 

These are some of the considerations 


which, in our opinion, could be used for 
preparing a free city status for West Ber¬ 
lin. Of course, this question must be 
thoroughly thrashed out, and the Ger¬ 
mans themselves could make a big con¬ 
tribution to this effort. In the discussion 
on the question of turning West Berlin 
into a demilitarised free city, the Soviet 
Union is ready, of course, to put forward 
a more detailed definition of its status. 

QUESTION : What questions connected 
with the status of West Berlin does the 
Soviet government believe could be the 
subject of talks between the four great 
powers, and what questions are not sub¬ 
jects for such a discussion ? 

ANSWER : In its Notes to the govern¬ 
ments of the three western powers the 
Soviet government has declared that the 
best solution to the Berlin question 
would be that based on the fulfilment of 
the Potsdam Agreement on Germany. 
This would stipulate the return of the 
western powers to the Potsdam principles, 
to a joint policy with the Soviet Union on 
the German question. In that case, the 
question would arise of annulling the 
decisions taken in violation of the Pots¬ 
dam Agreement, and above all of its 
military injunctions. It goes without say¬ 
ing that these questions should be the 
subject of a quadripartite discussion. It 
is true that everything indicates that the 
western powers do not want to give up 
their policy of turning Western Germany 
into N.A.T.O.’s main atomic and rocket 
base, into a militarist state whose entire 
life is being directed, already at the 
present time, along the road to war and 
revenge, although that road means 
disaster for the Federal Republic of 
Germany. 

Striving to put an end to the abnormal 
situation in Berlin, the Soviet Union has 
proposed to the western powers that 
talks be started on granting West Berlin 
the status of a demilitarised free city. 
Besides the propositions I have set forth 
—propositions determining the status of 
the free city—all the technical questions 
relating to the final elimination of the 
vestiges of the occupation of Berlin 
could be the subject of talks. We would 


49 


be ready to consider possible western 
specifications and amendments. 

I take the second part of your question 
to mean that you allow for possible 
western attempts to prevent the elimina¬ 
tion of the vestiges of the occupation 
regime in Berlin and to question the right 
of the Soviet Union to transfer to the 
German Democratic Republic the func¬ 
tions temporarily discharged by the 
Soviet side. In the event of the western 
powers refusing to grant the status of a 
free city to West Berlin, there will be no 
basis left for talks with the western 
powers on the Berlin question. We 
declare once again that we do not need 
the consent of the western powers in order 
to implement the steps we plan to take 
in Berlin, and no claims of theirs to this 
effect will stop us. It is also absolutely 
clear that the Soviet government will not 
betray the principles of non-interference 
in the internal affairs of other states and 
will not discuss with the three western 
powers those aspects of the German 
problem which can and must be solved 
by the Germans, and only by them. We 
wish to tell those who are trying to make 
us engage in such interference that their 
efforts are futile and only show how far 
the persons who are making those 
attempts are from understanding the 
actual situation in Germany, and what a 
thick mist shrouds their eyes. 

QUESTION: What actions by the 
western powers would you regard as 
frustration of the Soviet proposals ? 

ANSWER : The best thing for the western 
powers to do, if they really want to ease 
tension in Europe and do away with 
points of potential danger, would be to 
accept the Soviet proposal to turn West 
Berlin into a demilitarised free city. If 
the western powers refuse to accept the 
Soviet proposals on the Berlin question, 
and this is the most they can do, they will 
be unable, all the same, to prevent steps 
from being taken to eliminate the vestiges 
of occupation in Berlin—steps which 
depend on the Soviet Union—because 
these vestiges must and will be done away 
with. I do not care to say that in the 
event of the western powers refusing to 
seek, together with the Soviet Union, for 


a reasonable basis to do away with the 
occupation regime in West Berlin, they 
will expose themselves before the Ger¬ 
man people—and not only before them, 
for that matter—as advocates of the 
occupation regime for an indefinitely long 
period. 

Continuing the occupation of West 
Berlin means contributing to carrying on 
and even stepping up the cold war. The 
preservation of this regime can be 
explained only by a desire on the part 
of the western powers to prepare for a 
hot war. There is, and there can be, no 
other explanation because, if statesmen 
of the countries on which this depends 
really want to create normal conditions 
and eliminate everything that is fraught 
with the danger of war, then nothing 
better than our proposals can be thought 
of. If some other ways and means for 
eliminating tension were indicated, we 
would gladly consider and accept them. 
But it seems to us that in our proposals 
we have exhausted all the possibilities 
and we hope that tomorrow, if not today, 
those responsible for the destiny of the 
world will realise the timely and reason¬ 
able nature of our proposals. 

The western powers have violated the 
commitments they assumed towards the 
end of the war to do away with aggres¬ 
sive German militarism. The Soviet 
Union is bound by no commitments with 
regard to the equipping of Western Ger¬ 
many with atomic weapons, which is 
being carried out by the western powers. 
If the western powers do not accept our 
proposals for eliminating the danger spot 
in West Berlin, it will confirm that their 
actions are directed towards an early 
completion of the arming of Western 
Germany and preparation for a third 
world war. Therefore we shall press 
with increasing insistence for ending the 
present situation in West Berlin. 

Some hot-headed western military 
leaders permit themselves to make irres¬ 
ponsible statements to the effect that 
armed forces and tanks would be used to 
clear the way to Berlin. But isn’t it clear 
that this would mean war, because the 
other side also has tanks and other more 
powerful weapons which would not 


50 


remain inactive. We do not believe that 
the West wants to unleash war in connec¬ 
tion with the Soviet Union’s proposal to 
abolish the last vestiges of the occupation 
regime in Berlin and in connection with 
the fact that the German Democratic 
Republic will gain complete sovereignty 
after taking over the functions tempor¬ 
arily discharged by the Soviet side. But 
if, to our regret, this does happen, and 
if the frontier along the Elbe is violated 
and aggression against the German Dem¬ 
ocratic Republic is committed, then the 
Soviet Union, as a loyal ally of the Ger¬ 
man Democratic Republic under the 
Warsaw Treaty, will fulfil its commit¬ 
ments and, together with the German 
Democratic Republic, will safeguard the 
integrity of the republic’s land, water and 
air frontiers. The entire responsibility 
for the consequences will be borne by 
those who try to ensure by force their 
domination over territory belonging to 
another state, that is to say, to violate 
the sovereignty of the German Demo¬ 
cratic Republic. Therefore the best solu¬ 
tion to the problem would be to stop 
playing war and settle the Berlin question 
with due consideration for the interests 
of our peoples and our future. 

QUESTION : What is your attitude to 
the arming of the Federal Republic of 
Germany with atomic weapons ? 

ANSWER : Those who advocate arming 
the Bundeswehr with nuclear and rocket 
weapons are trying to present matters 
as if the measures they are taking in this 
direction are necessary in order to pro¬ 
tect the Federal Republic of Germany 
from some “ threat ” coming from the 
East, and would consolidate the security 
of the Federal Republic. It is not diffi¬ 
cult to see that these allegations, to say 
the least, have nothing in common with 
the truth. The talk about a “threat” 
coming from the Soviet Union is a case 
of deception and the purpose of this is 
to justify measures aimed at including 
the Federal Republic in the atomic and 
rocket race and to make the West Ger¬ 
man population hate the Soviet Union. 

The Soviet Union has never waged any 
aggressive wars—such wars are foreign 
to the very nature of our state. The 


U.S.S.R. does not intend, and never has 
intended, to attack either the Federal 
Republic of Germany or any other state. 
The threat of “ local attacks ” on the 
Federal Republic by the Soviet Union, 
with which the Federal Republic’s 
Defence Minister Strauss recently tried 
to scare the West German population, is 
an absurd fabrication invented to meet 
the needs of revenge-seekers and milit¬ 
arists. Western Germany as a state would 
undoubtedly stand to gain and would 
earn the confidence of neighbouring 
peoples if it called to order the ill-starred 
strategists in the Federal Republic who 
continue to slander peaceloving states 
and foment revenge-seeking passions 
among the German population. 

The Soviet government fully shares the 
opinion of the West German circles who 
maintain that nuclear weapons cannot 
be instrumental in ensuring the security 
of the Federal Republic of Germany and 
that the arming of the Bundeswehr with 
these weapons and the siting of these 
weapons on West German territory are 
fraught with danger of the destruc¬ 
tion of the Federal Republic of Germany 
and spell death for millions upon 
millions of Germans, since all these mea¬ 
sures are pushing Western Germany fur¬ 
ther and further along the road of war 
preparations. Only politically blind and' 
ignorant people can fail to see the hor¬ 
rible prospects which are being prepared 
for the Federal Republic of Germany 
by those who are shaping the present 
military and political course of this state. 

We get the impression that those who 
advocate the nuclear arming of the 
Federal Republic either do not realise to 
the full the danger to which they are 
exposing the West German population or 
are doing this deliberately. In either case 
they are committing a crime by pushing 
the Federal Republic of Germany on to 
a disastrous road. 

QUESTION : Do you continue to sup¬ 
port the proposals for a confederation of 
the German states ? 

ANSWER : The Soviet government has 
repeatedly stated that the reunification of 
Germany is an internal matter for the 
two German states. The solution of this 


51 


question can be effected only by the 
Germans themselves; it cannot be intro¬ 
duced or imposed by someone from out¬ 
side. One cannot but be astonished by 
the statements of responsible officials of 
the western powers and the Federal 
Republic of Germany that the Americans 
and the British are better qualified to 
solve the task of restoring Germany’s 
unity than the Germans themselves. This 
by no means signifies that the great 
powers could not play a definite part in 
.restoring the unity of Germany by facili¬ 
tating a rapprochement of the two Ger¬ 
man states. But the western powers do 
not want to promote this; they prefer 
to give advice to the Germans. This 
attitude of the western powers and the 
Federal Republic with regard to re¬ 
unification is unrealistic. 

Let us be frank. The people in the 
German Democratic Republic are build¬ 
ing socialism, while the capitalist sys¬ 
tem still exists in the western part of 
the country. Only people who are com¬ 
pletely divorced from reality can suggest 
a mechanical merger of two different 
states. Given such an attitude, the cause 
of reunification cannot be extricated from 
deadlock. 

Proceeding on the basis of the situ¬ 
ation that actually prevails—the existence 
of two sovereign German states with 
different social and economic systems— 
the government of the German Demo¬ 
cratic Republic has put forward a con¬ 
structive plan for the reunification of 
Germany through setting up a confede¬ 
ration. This idea is gaining ground 
every day. Increasingly broad sections 
of the German population approve of 
this proposal of the government of the 
German Democratic Republic. You are 
well aware that the Soviet government 
fully supports the initiative of the Ger¬ 
man Democratic Republic. In the pre¬ 
sent situation the formation of a con¬ 
federation is a reliable and practical way 
to establish a united democratic German 
state. 

No doubt you also know that in spite 
of the favourable prospects opened up 
by the proposal for a confederation, 
Chancellor Adenauer rejects this way— 


the only realistic way—of reuniting Ger¬ 
many. This shows once again that the 
ruling circles of the Federal Republic of 
Germany are using talk about German 
unity merely as a smokescreen and that 
in actual fact they are enemies of this 
unity. They do not want the reunifica¬ 
tion of the country, but only talk about 
reunification. In actual fact Adenauer 
and his henchmen fear the reunification 
of Germany, since the establishment of 
a united, peaceloving, democratic Ger¬ 
many would mean the collapse of their 
plans for making Western Germany the 
main striking force of the aggressive 
N.A.T.O. military bloc and the collapse 
of their plans for aggression and revenge. 

If the Federal Chancellor were really 
concerned for the restoration of the 
country’s unity, would he then come out 
as the inspirer of a campaign for con¬ 
tinuing the occupation of West Berlin 
indefinitely? Why is he doing this? In 
any case, it is not being done in the 
interests of the West Berlin population, 
who have to put up with the occupation 
regime. Nor is it being done, naturally, 
ill the interests of a detente and the 
establishment of normal relations 
between neighbouring countries. 

Or let us take the question of a peace 
treaty with Germany. It is indeed un¬ 
believable that the head of the govern¬ 
ment of one of the existing German 
states does not want to conclude a peace 
treaty through negotiations with the 
Soviet Union and the three western 
powers—the leading participants in the 
anti-Hitler coalition—and with the par¬ 
ticipation of the two sovereign German 
states which have emerged on the terri¬ 
tory of Germany. Chancellor Adenauer, 
like his N.A.T.O. partners, is apparently 
striving for some other peace treaty 
which would actually abolish the Ger¬ 
man Democratic Republic. But no sober- 
minded person can expect this to be 
accepted. What grounds are there for 
raising the question of abolishing the 
German Democratic Republic—the first 
state of workers and peasants in German 
history? In that case the Germans in 
the German Democratic Republic could 
suggest the abolition of the Federal Re- 


52 


public of Germany and reunite the coun¬ 
try on the basis of the socialist principles 
on which the German Democratic Re¬ 
public is based. But it is obvious that 
neither of these two approaches to the 
question is realistic. The only practical 
possibility of solving the German ques¬ 
tion once and for all is through a peace¬ 
ful settlement with Germany. 

In concluding a peace treaty with Ger¬ 
many, the existence of the two German 
states must undoubtedly be taken into 
consideration and they must be invited 
to take part in the negotiations of the 
four great powers. This would be the 
most reasonable solution to the problem 
and would be welcomed by the people 
of all countries, who yearn for tension 
to be eased and peace guaranteed. But 
if the Federal Chancellor insists on some¬ 
thing else, this means that he is pur¬ 


suing certain aims other than a guarantee 
of peace. It means that he is pursuing 
a dangerous policy “ from positions of 
strength.” He wants to create an army 
and wants to arm it with atomic 
weapons; he wants to pursue a policy of 
force. Thus it follows that Chancellor 
Adenauer is pursuing a policy which may 
lead to disaster, to the collapse of Wes¬ 
tern Germany, since in present condi¬ 
tions, with the existence of modern 
weapons of mass destruction, war would 
be of a devastating nature. This is 
monstrous, of course, but this is a fact, 
and we must not shut our eyes to it. We 
would like to believe that the sound 
patriotic forces which exist in Western 
Germany and are concerned for the 
destiny of their people, will correctly 
understand this in good time and do 
everything in their power to prevent the 
unleashing of a third world war. 


STATEMENT BY FOREIGN MINISTER 
GROMYKO IN USSR SUPREME SOVIET 
ON DECEMBER 25 
Answers Deputies’ Questions on Berlin 


On December 24, 1958, at the morning sitting of both chambers of 
the U.S.S.R. Supreme Soviet, a group of Deputies asked the following 
question: 


“ On November 27 the Soviet govern¬ 
ment sent a Note on the Berlin question 
to the governments of the United States, 
Britain and France, and also to the 
governments of the German Democratic 
Republic and the Federal Republic of 
Germany. This Note contained a pro¬ 
posal by the Soviet government that 
West Berlin be converted into a 
demilitarised free city. 

“ As far as we know, the governments 
of the western powers have still not 
replied to this proposal of the govern¬ 
ment of the Soviet Union. At the same 
time, statesmen of the Western powers 
are distorting the motives of the Soviet 
Union’s actions and are striving to retain 
the occupation regime in West Berlin at 
all costs. 

“ We ask the government to inform 


the U.S.S.R. Supreme Soviet about the 
attitude of the governments of the west¬ 
ern powers to the Soviet government’s 
proposal on the Berlin question and 
about the present situation with regard 
to the Berlin question.” 

In a statement in reply to the Deputies’ 
question, made at a joint session of the 
two chambers of the Supreme Soviet on 
December 25, Foreign Minister Gromyko 
said the following : 

Now, Comrades Deputies, about the 
situation with regard to the question of 
Berlin. 

You are aware, of course, of the 
Soviet government’s proposals for solv¬ 
ing this question by converting West 
Berlin into a demilitarised free city. 
These proposals, on which the attention 


53 


of literally the whole world is now 
focused, were sent to the governments 
of the United States, Britain and France, 
as well as to the governments of the 
German Democratic Republic and the 
Federal Republic of Germany in special 
Soviet government Notes at the end of 
November. These Notes have been 
published, their contents are known and 
there is no need now to recount them 
in detail. At the outset, it would be as 
well to note how the Soviet government’s 
initiative with regard to the Berlin ques¬ 
tion has been received, how the govern¬ 
ments and public opinion of various 
countries have reacted to it. 

First of all, it is necessary to state 
that the Soviet government’s proposals 
on the Berlin question have been warmly 
approved by the government and people 
of the country which is affected most 
of all by this issue. I refer to the 
German Democratic Republic, on whose 
territory, it will be remembered, Berlin 
is situated and whose capital Berlin is. 
Reports from the German Democratic 
Republic show that the population there 
welcome the proposals of the U.S.S.R. 
which are aimed at abolishing the occu¬ 
pation of West Berlin and at a peaceful 
solution of the Berlin issue. 

From statements by government 
leaders of the German Democratic 
Republic and a special letter on the 
Berlin question from the central com¬ 
mittee of the Socialist Unity Party of 
Germany to the central committee of 
our party, we know that the leadership 
of the German Democratic Republic, 
expressing the will of the population, 
supports the plan for creating a free 
city of West Berlin and considers that 
this would serve well the cause of peace 
and the cause of solving the national 
problem of the German people—the 
reunification of Germany. 

To that end the German Democratic 
Republic is prepared to make a con¬ 
cession and to agree to West Berlin 
becoming a free and demilitarised city. 
This position of our friends in the 
German Democratic Republic cannot 
but gladden the Soviet people. It may be 
assessed as striking proof of the 
desire of that socialist state to make its 


contribution to the cause of strengthen¬ 
ing peace in Europe and help create 
conditions for the peaceful reunification 
of Germany. 

The Soviet government’s proposals 
have likewise met with the approval and 
support of the peoples and governments 
of a number of other European, and not 
only European, states, because everyone 
is aware that the significance of the 
Berlin question goes far beyond Europe. 
For it is precisely in Berlin that the 
western powers most strikingly demon¬ 
strate their dangerous policy of “ brink¬ 
manship.” As a result of this a situation 
has arisen in which one incautious move, 
some provocative act by N.A.T.O. 
generals could cause a conflict which 
would affect the whole world, with grave 
consequences to all nations. 

Therefore, it is understandable that 
all those who really cherish peace 
welcome the Soviet proposals, which are 
aimed at removing as soon as possible 
the malignant tumour which the occu¬ 
pation regime in West Berlin has now 
become, and thus ensure the possibility 
of a normal, healthy development of 
relations between the states in Europe. 
As long as the Berlin issue is not solved, 
as long as the occupation regime exists 
in West Berlin, there can be no question 
of eliminating tension in Germany or in 
Europe, and it will be impossible to put 
an end to the “ cold war.” 

Unfortunately, one cannot say that 
the position now taken by the govern¬ 
ments of the western powers with regard 
to the Soviet proposals is evidence that 
they have soberly assessed the whole 
seriousness of the situation prevailing in 
Berlin and have correctly understood the 
intentions of the Soviet Union. We have 
not yet received an answer from the 
western powers to the Soviet govern¬ 
ment’s Notes of November 27. The 
Soviet government awaits that answer. 
But one should plainly say: The 
western powers’ statements and docu¬ 
ments that have been published so far 
in connection with the proposals of the 
U.S.S.R. on the Berlin question do not 
accord with the real state of affairs and 
do not conform to the interests of peace. 
Instead of giving a businesslike and con- 


54 


structive answer to the Soviet Union’s 
proposals, they are trying to seek out 
some “ hidden motives ” that they allege 
the Soviet government had for making 
these proposals. 

But the Soviet government has noth¬ 
ing to conceal. In making its proposals 
on the Berlin question it is guided by 
the sole desire to put an end to the 
dangerous situation prevailing in West 
Berlin. If this is not done the danger will 
further increase of West Berlin becoming 
a second Sarajevo, where in June, 1914, 
the shot was fired which set off the 
conflagration of the First World War. 

It would be a good thing if the 
governments of the western powers 
would realise all this and would agree 
to direct and honest talks with the 
Soviet Union on jointly settling the 
Berlin question in the interests of peace. 

Unfortunately, so far they are acting 
in another way. The Soviet govern¬ 
ment’s proposals are being misrepre¬ 
sented and misinterpreted in all sorts of 
ways in the West. Not only the press, 
but even responsible statesmen are 
taking the liberty of shouting about the 
U.S.S.R.’s desire “ to seize ” West Ber¬ 
lin. Any impartial observer will clearly 
see that this is a complete invention. The 
Soviet Union has no need to “ seize ” 
West Berlin. It has never thought of 
wanting to. On the contrary, the Soviet 
government’s proposals provide, as is 
well known, for the creation of reliable 
guarantees to the effect that no state 
will interfere in the affairs of the free 
city of West Berlin. This should pre¬ 
clude the possibility of West Berlin’s 
territory and resources being used to 
further one-sided interests of any power. 
But if this is called seizure, what then 
should one call respect for the sovereign 
rights of others and non-interference in 
their internal affairs? 

The western governments continue to 
claim a kind of “ occupation right ” that 
supposedly allows, even well-nigh 
obliges, them to keep their troops, tanks 
and guns in West Berlin. Here they 
allude forcefully to Allied agreements 
concluded during and right after the 
war. But they say not a word about 
the fact that they themselves have for a 


long time violated most grossly the 
provisions of these agreements whose aim 
was to create the conditions for Ger¬ 
many’s peaceful development. They 
have done this by heading Western 
Germany along a militarist and revenge- 
seeking road, by allotting it the role of 
the basic shock force in the aggressive 
designs of the North Atlantic bloc. 

And if today western leaders are 
recalling these Allied agreements, it is 
only because they plan to go on using 
them for subversion against the German 
Democratic Republic, the Soviet Union 
and other socialist states. It is only 
because they plan to use West Berlin as 
their military springboard, for which the 
N.A.T.O. command obviously has a 
definite place in its calculations. It is 
precisely this that is borne out by the 
memorandum on the juridical aspects of 
the Berlin situation which the U.S. State 
Department published the other day. 
This is a rather voluminous document. 
It has plenty of quotations and references 
to various agreements, letters and state¬ 
ments. It contains, of course, quite a lot 
that is right. But this goes cheek by jowl 
with tendentious interpretations misrepre¬ 
senting the truth and, in a number of a 
cases, with direct distortions of the facts. 

The State Department is trying to use 
this whole batch to draw lopsided conclu¬ 
sions, contrary to the actual facts and 
patently going wide of the mark. Far 
from helping in an understanding of the 
Berlin question, this document of the 
U.S. diplomatic office has been devised 
to mislead, to create by hook or by 
crook pretences of there being some kind 
of legal basis for the present occupation 
rule in West Berlin. It is, however, abso¬ 
lutely unreasonable and pointless to talk 
about occupation rights today almost 14 
years after the end of the war, at a time 
when, in view of the fact that there are 
two sovereign German states, there are 
absolutely no grounds whatsoever for 
foreign occupation, at a time when the 
peoples, including the Germans, are 
demanding with every right that they be 
guaranteed normal conditions for living 
in peace. 

The statements of western leaders and 
also the communique the N.A.T.O. 


55 


Council issued the other day on the 
Berlin question show that attempts are 
being made to tie up normalisation in 
Berlin with Germany’s unification. More¬ 
over, the old programme of so-called 
“ free all-German elections,” which life 
itself cast aside long ago, has again been 
pulled out. It is quite plain that all this 
is only a trick which is being employed 
to avoid a solution of the acute and 
burning issue of Berlin. The Soviet 
government has emphasised already many 
times that nobody has any right to “unify” 
Germany from without, for the Germans 
and in place of the Germans. It has 
stated that the Soviet Union can have 
nothing to do with such schemes. 
Germany can be unified only through 
rapprochement and agreement between 
the two German states, the German 
Democratic Republic and the Federal 
Republic of Germany. No mechanical 
methods, like all-German elections, can 
solve this problem in the present con¬ 
ditions. 

Instead of negotiating with the Soviet 
Union about its Berlin proposals, the 
western governments considered it more 
appropriate to raise the question in such 
a body as the N.A.T.O. Council which, 
like the whole of this military bloc, 
clearly has nothing whatsoever to do 
with the Berlin question. For quite 
understandable reasons the Soviet govern¬ 
ment sent its Berlin proposals to the 
U.S.A., Britain and France. These are 
the states whose troops are now in West 
Berlin. But the Soviet government has 
never offered to negotiate over Berlin 
with either the N.A.T.O. Council or any 
other body in this military grouping. If 
the western governments are trying to 
pull out this question for discussion in 
N.A.T.O. they are thereby merely 
demonstrating once again their desire to 
turn West Berlin into one of N.A.T.O.’s 
bases, the creation of which, as is well 
known, has recently become the prime 
concern of those who rule the roost in 
this grouping. 

There was a time when the United 
States, Britain and France were our 
country’s allies in the joint struggle 
against Hitler aggression. Everyone still 
well remembers it. The Soviet govern¬ 


ment and all our people still maintain 
that the continuation of this co-operation 
in peacetime would have been in the 
interests of peace. But the western 
governments, as we know, took another 
course. Today we can see that they prefer 
to “ negotiate ” about the Berlin question 
with Adenauer and his colleagues, 
that is, with the men who in point 
of fact have declared themselves the 
successors of nazi Germany. They prefer 
to discuss the proposals of the U.S.S.R., 
their one-time ally in the anti-Hitler 
coalition, inside N.A.T.O., where former 
Hitler generals are already holding 
leading posts. 

In this connection it is necessary to 
single out the position of the govern¬ 
ment of the Federal Republic of 
Germany, which, both in and outside 
N.A.T.O., has apparently assumed the 
role of Enemy No. 1 to a peaceful, 
agreed Berlin settlement. The West 
German Chancellor Adenauer and his 
ministers let no opportunity pass to 
place obstacles in the way in this respect. 
They are literally pleading with the 
western powers to prevent the foreign 
occupation of West Berlin from being 
terminated. 

The question arises: What are the 
West German leaders hoping to achieve 
by taking such a stand? Apparently it 
was not without grounds that it was 
pointed out recently in the western press 
that they are interested in the continua¬ 
tion of the “ cold war ” because its 
termination would unsaddle them, 
because in that event their policy of 
hostility to peace and an international 
detente would be hit so hard that it 
would scarcely be able to get back on 
its feet again. 

In connection with the Soviet govern¬ 
ment’s proposals on Berlin certain 
generals and journalists—especially in 
the U.S.A.—who are somewhat loose- 
tongued, now and then come out with 
inciting statements calling for the use of 
force in asserting the “ right ” of the 
occupationists in West Berlin. They are 
blabbing about the need for the western 
powers to “ break through ” to Berlin by 
force of arms. But these people probably 
have little idea about what such actions 


56 


would lead to if politicians appeared who 
would actually follow their counsel. One 
must be either an ignoramus or be 
deliberately shutting one’s eye to reality 
to come out with such “ advice.” 

For any provocation in West Berlin, 
any attempt at aggressive actions against 
the German Democratic Republic could 
start a big war, in the crucible of which 
millions upon millions of people would 
perish and which would bring devasta¬ 
tion and losses incomparably more 
serious than the last world war. The 
flames of war would inevitably reach the 
American continent since, in the con¬ 
ditions of modern warfare, the line of 
demarcation between near and far 
theatres of war is erased. The correct¬ 
ness of this conclusion cannot be dis¬ 
puted by anyone who is familiar with 
the facts of the case and is not blinded 
by propaganda aimed at misleading the 
people and lulling their vigilance as 
regards the danger of war. Only people 
in their dotage could discount all this. 
Only such people could call for throwing 
the world into the abyss of a new war 
for the sake of preserving the occupa- 
tionists’ positions in West Berlin. 

The conversion of West Berlin, a 
centre of conflict and provocations, into 
a city where more than two million 
Germans may lead a peaceful and 
independent life, the creation of a demili¬ 
tarised free city of West Berlin, would 
be a just settlement of the Berlin ques¬ 
tion suggested by life itself in the present 
conditions. The Soviet government 
would sincerely like to hope that the 
leaders of the western powers will show 
statesmanship and also come to the con¬ 
clusion that the Soviet proposals offer a 
realistic basis for a settlement of the 
Berlin question. They could cause no 
harm to any of the western powers, let 
alone the Germans ; nor do they offer 
any one-sided advantages to the Soviet 
Union or any other state. On the con¬ 
trary, if these proposals were imple¬ 
mented, all the states would stand to 
gain and, above all, the universal cause 
of peace in Europe and all over the 


world would stand to gain. 

The Soviet government assumes that 
the most correct way of settling the 
Berlin question is the way of reasonable 
negotiations among the powers directly 
concerned. The Soviet government has 
put forward its specific proposals on 
settling the Berlin question and does not 
refuse to hear and discuss the consider¬ 
ations which the western powers might 
have on this score, provided these are 
considerations aimed at a solution of 
the problem and not at avoiding a 
solution in order to continue as before 
to hold sway in West Berlin as 
occupationists. 

There is hardly any need to point out 
that unless agreement is reached with 
the western powers on a co-ordinated 
solution of the Berlin question the 
Soviet Union will have no alternative 
but to effect the transfer to the German 
Democratic Republic of the functions 
which it has hitherto fulfilled in Berlin 
and on the communication lines linking 
it with Western Germany. 

That is how things are on the Berlin 
question, Comrades Deputies. 

Assertions are being made in the 
western countries that the U.S.S.R.’s 
proposals on the Berlin question are 
either an “ ultimatum ” or a “ Soviet 
threat.” The western statesmen are free, 
of course, to put their own interpretation 
on international actions, but it should 
be bluntly said that neither of these two 
assertions contains an atom of truth. 
The determination of the Soviet govern¬ 
ment to implement the contemplated 
measures regarding the Berlin question 
by no means implies a lack of desire to 
find a co-ordinated settlement of this 
problem. On the contrary, the Soviet 
government would like this decision to 
be adopted in the belief that it would 
correspond best of all to the task of 
converting Europe, a centre of devastat¬ 
ing wars as it was in the past, into a 
reliable citadel of peace and security of 
the nations. 

It is up to the western powers to 
speak up now. 


57 


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